Oklahoma City Council approves mandatory mask ordinance
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Council voted Friday to require faces to be covered inside all public buildings in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
The council approved the ordinance by a 6-3 vote at a special meeting. The ordinance requires persons age 11 and up, with few exceptions, to don face coverings or shields covering their noses and mouths in all indoor public spaces.
Among the exempt are those who work in offices with no face-to-face interactions, diners while eating and drinking, those engaged in sports or cardio exercise, and those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Oklahoma City joins Tulsa in mandating masks in public to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, Oklahoma County commissioners have voted down a countywide mandate twice, most recently on Friday.
Oklahoma’s daily coronavirus report showed Friday that 699 more people have tested positive, and seven more people have died.
Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 declined slightly, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The department reported the latest totals of 24,140 confirmed cases and 445 deaths since March. The department reported 23,441 confirmed positive cases and 438 deaths Thursday.
As of Friday, 604 people in Oklahoma were hospitalized with coronavirus conditions, down from 638 on Thursday.
The actual number of positive cases is likely much higher since many people haven’t been tested and some who get the disease don’t show symptoms. The department reports 18,766 people have recovered.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.