TULSA, Okla. — Mayor G.T. Bynum signed the City of Tulsa mask ordinance into effect on Thursday morning.
Bynum shared a picture of himself signing the mandate on his Facebook page.
We do this at the request of our hospitals, our doctors and nurses, our school leaders, and so many more who want to protect the ability of local health care systems to serve Tulsans in need.
The Tulsa City Council approved the citywide mask ordinance on Wednesday evening.
After several hours going over the language in the ordinance, listening to the advice of local health officials, and emails and voicemails from the Tulsans the council voted and passed the ordinance 7-2. It needed a majority vote to pass.
Last week, Mayor Bynum said he asked for a mask ordinance at the request of the Tulsa Health Department as coronavirus cases continue to increase in the city of Tulsa.
The mandate requires residents must have their noses and mouths covered when out in public spaces, but this doesn’t mean everyone must comply.
The City of Tulsa outlined the following exceptions for those who are not required to wear a face covering:
- Those who fall into the CDC’s guidance for those who should not wear face coverings due to a medical or mental health condition or developmental disability.
- Those who are eating or drinking.
- Those who are exercising in communal outdoor spaces, or persons walking or exercising with other persons from the same household in communal outdoor spaces, as long as physical distancing is maintained - persons congregating in communal outdoor spaces with other persons not in their same household are required to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not maintained.
- Those in settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, such as dental services, medical treatments or while swimming.
- Occupants in a personal vehicle, personal office, or similarly private space while other persons outside of the person's household are not present.
- Those in their private homes.
- Those in offices and workplaces that are not public service areas where physical distancing between employees and other occupants can be consistently maintained during hours of operation.
There isn’t a specific penalty for violation but the ordinance said those refusing to wear a face covering are subject to prosecution under criminal trespass, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct or similar offenses.
The ordinance could expire by Nov. 30 at the expiration of Mayor G.T. Bynum's Civil Emergency Orders or by repeal, modification or extension from the city council.
The two councilors who voted against the ordinance are Connie Dodson and Cass Fahler.
Fahler explained why before the vote.
“It is my opinion, far be it from me, that I do not represent the majority of my constituents," Fahler said. "Through all of those messages and everything that I have polled and counted and heard and listened, I have had a three to one majority to oppose this ordinance. Tonight, I will be voting no.”
Bynum said he’s grateful for the support of the council.
He also received support in the form of 11 letters from local healthcare system leaders and medical professionals across Oklahoma along with local leaders from school districts.
To read the mask ordinance in full, click here.
For more information on COVID-19 in Tulsa, click here.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.