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Tulsa City Council votes to extend mask mandate

COVID-19 mask generic
Posted at 8:48 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 19:04:34-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the mask mandate in Tulsa for 90 days.

The mask mandate passed with a 9-0 vote count, and it's set to expire at midnight on April 30. The mask mandate first went into effect in the city of Tulsa in July 2020.

“When the Council originally approved the mask requirement in July, we made a commitment to citizens that we would publicly re-evaluate this ordinance every 90 days to see if an extension was needed,” Council Chair Vanessa Hall-Harper said. “Dr. Bruce Dart, the Executive Director of the Tulsa Health Department, recommended that the mandate and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts should continue until the end of summer. This extension will give the time needed for more people to get vaccinated.”

The mandate requires all people, ages 10 and older, to wear a face covering in public places, including grocery stores, retail stores and public areas where social distancing cannot be followed.

READ MORE: Tulsa City Council approves mask mandate for ages 10 and up

The amendment includes the City of Tulsa's current mask mandate and the additional virus mitigation measures approved in November:

• Requiring a COVID-19 Safety Plan for events of 150 people or more – safety plans must be submitted to the Tulsa Health Department 14 calendar days before the event
• Requiring separation or distance provisions in use at restaurants, bars and other places of public accommodation and public settings
• Requiring entities to consistently make adequate efforts to have patrons and attendees comply with face covering requirements and to implement a sanitation protocol to protect employees and customers
• Giving the Tulsa Health Department authority to enforce the City’s COVID-19 ordinances in places of public accommodation, public settings, restaurants and bars – with City code enforcement assisting

“The COVID working group established between the City Council and my office reached this determination together and I fully support it. While the vaccine is being deployed, we aren’t out of the woods yet. We must continue to give our health care professionals the support they need in slowing the spread of the virus, and this is a necessary step to continue that effort. I want to thank the City Council for taking this important action tonight for our community and will sign it when it reaches my desk,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

For more updates on the City of Tulsa's response to COVID-19, click here.

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