A special virtual meeting of the City Council for the City of Oklahoma City is set for Friday at 1:00 p.m. to take up a proposal for a new mask ordinance.
If passed in its current form, it would require masks to be worn in indoor public places including private property with some exceptions.
Under the proposal, fines for violating the ordinance would be $50 for the first offense, $250 for the second, and $500 for the third.
“Masks” would be defined as any face covering which covers the nose and mouth.
The ordinance will end September 8 unless the council amends that part of the proposal before the vote.*
The City website page with all supporting documents including the proposed ordinance, financial impact, and the Municipal Counselor’s office memo are HERE.*
Or, see the entire meeting packet as one PDF document BELOW.
In a Facebook post on his personal page, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt weighed in for Stonecipher’s proposal.
“It is my intention to vote in favor of Councilman Stonecipher’s proposal on Friday,” wrote Holt in the post. “There are eight other Members of the Council and if you support a mask ordinance in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our city, I encourage you to reach out to your Councilmember before Friday.”
The meeting was set and announced Wednesday minutes after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Stitt has stubbornly refused to mandate masks or even to wear one in most appearances.
The Council will meet for a workshop with Oklahoma City-County Health Department Thursday in preparation.
The resolution for the new OKC ordinance was submitted by Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher and could be amended in a number of ways by the time it passes either Friday or Tuesday at the regularly scheduled council meeting.
A news release by Public Information Officer Kristy Yager gave the conditions for passage of the ordinance.
If Friday’s vote for the ordinance is at least 7 out of 9 (eight council members plus the mayor) it will take effect immediately.
If it passes with 5 or 6 votes, it will need a second hearing Tuesday at the regular meeting.
If it passes Tuesday with 7 or more votes, it will take effect immediately. And, if it passes Tuesday with 5 or 6 votes it will take effect August 21.
Yager gave these detailed exceptions under the proposal if no changes are made before passage:
- Children under age 6, unless required by a school or daycare.
- People working in an office who don’t have face-to-face interactions with the public.
- Patrons of restaurants, bars and similar establishments while eating or drinking.
- People in settings where it isn’t practical or feasible to wear a face covering, like receiving dental services, swimming or playing at a sprayground.
- People engaged in sports (including for recreation) or cardio exercises.
- People inside any federal, state or county building or facility
- People inside a public or private school building or facility, unless required by the school.
- People at a religious service or ceremony where social distancing is observed between groups of people from different households.
“People with a medical condition preventing them from safely wearing a mask can produce a document from their physician confirming that information, and will not be subject to a conviction and fine,” the news release said.
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*Updated 8:58 a.m. July 17, 2020.