TULSA — Tulsans could be required to wear a mask by the end of the week.
Last week, Mayor G.T. Bynum said he asked for a masks ordinance at the request of the Tulsa Health Department as coronavirus cases continue to increase in the city of Tulsa.
The proposed ordinance requires every person in the city to wear a face covering, over both their nose and mouth, when inside a commercial business or other structure, building or space open to the public, or in an outdoor space where staying six feet apart for social distancing from someone not of the same household is difficult.
The face covering requirement does not apply to the following:
- any person younger than 18 years of age, however, wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged.
- any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
- any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink
- any person while the person is exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household
- any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
- any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care or dental service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal
- any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water
- any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged
- any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged
- any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
- any person performing work in which face coverings present or exacerbates a hazard.
According to the proposed mask ordinance, a person not wearing a mask could receive a verbal or written warning on a first-time violation. Further violations would be considered a misdemeanor offense and a person will receive a fine of no more than $100. "In addition, the City may pursue any other legal remedy to secure enforcement."
Officials with the City of Tulsa said the ordinance will be voted on Wednesday, July 15. The ordinance needs a majority vote to pass. Since there are nine council members, the ordinance will need five or more votes to pass.
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