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Oklahoma City to hear public comments on mask extension Sept. 1

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 currently is to expire Sept. 8. The council agreed Tuesday, 6-1, to consider an extension before then. 

Tuesday’s vote margin 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 young children. 

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. 

The state reported 615 new cases and 17 additional deaths on Tuesday.

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