Masks made a difference for Oklahoma City firefighters. The department is back on alert Level Yellow as a precaution as COVID-19 cases and quarantines rise. [The Oklahoman Archive]
The Oklahoma City Fire Department’s COVID-19 alert level rose over the weekend to yellow, the cautionary step between green and red, fire union President Cameron Weems said.
Weems said the majority of firefighters out due to COVID-19 are in quarantine, and are not infected with the coronavirus.
“With the rise in statewide numbers it seems like we are being affected as well,” he said. The department was at Level Red for a month between late June and late July.
According to the city’s figures, OKCFD currently has six active cases out of a total of 34 since the pandemic began.
A statewide streak of nine consecutive days with 1,000-plus new daily COVID-19 cases was broken Saturday, when new cases dipped to 990.
State figures based on a seven-day average show jurisdictions with mask mandates had 23% fewer new cases and jurisdictions without mask mandates had 33% more cases, OKC emergency management reported.
Oklahoma City’s mask ordinance requires masks be worn indoors in places open to the public. Firefighters credited a decision to wear masks with helping to quell last summer’s outbreak in the fire houses.
To follow COVID-19’s progression in the department as a Level Red alert was declared over the summer go here and here and here and here.