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Mask extension appears likely in Oklahoma City

The Oklahoma City Council will conduct a public hearing Sept. 1 on a proposed three-month extension of the city’s COVID-19 mask ordinance.

In effect since July 17, the ordinance is to expire Sept. 8. The council agreed Tuesday, 6-1, to consider an extension before then.

Tuesday’s vote was a clear indication the council has the necessary majority to extend the ordinance through Nov. 30.

Public health experts say masks are effective in slowing spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Mayor David Holt said last week he can’t identify a reason besides the mask ordinance for downward trends the past couple of weeks in Oklahoma City COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases.

The ordinance requires individuals to wear masks when indoors in many public places, with limited exceptions, including for children under age 11, worship services and athletics.

An exception is being added for sign language interpreters.

The city’s emergency management director has cited state data showing cases have been decreasing faster in communities with mask ordinances than in communities without them.


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