Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced new restrictions for bars, restaurants and gathering venues on Wednesday. The measures, he said, will help prevent the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic in the metro.
“We can’t sustain another spike on top of this one,” Holt said. “Please, be careful and recognize the seriousness of this virus, especially if you’re a young person.”
Holt said bars and restaurant employees must wear face coverings while working, bars cannot exceed 50% capacity, and venues with theater-style seating must stagger seating.
The restrictions go into effect Friday, July 3 and span two weeks. Holt posted his address to his Facebook page following the press conference.
Hospitalization levels have plateaued at an “elevated level”, Holt said. “We are stuck at an elevated level that in and of itself is manageable, but puts us right on the edge of an unmanageable situation.”
He added that it’s possible the Fourth of July weekend spurs another uptick in cases, similar to what followed Memorial Day.
Infections among the 18-35-year-old demographic have driven much of the recent spike in cases.
Holt recommended everyone wear a mask or face covering when outside their home. When asked if he is considering a mask mandate, he said enforcing such a rule would not be impossible. He said it comes down to personal responsibility.
Related: OKC Mayor Holt Recommends All Residents Wear Masks Outside Of Home