City Of Tulsa Passes Mask Mandate

Wednesday, July 15th 2020, 8:26 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

The Tulsa City Council passed an ordinance to require everyone to wear a mask in public.

After nearly 6 hours of discussion on a mask mandate, city councilors voted 7- 2 to approve a citywide mask requirement.

The ordinance is as Mayor Bynum proposed originally, but there is a big change though; there is no specific penalty or fine for violating the mask mandate.

Related Story: Tulsa Mask Mandate Proposal: What You Need To Know

The ordinance says if you do refuse to wear face covering inside a business, school or public space, you could be prosecuted for trespassing, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct or something similar.

There are exceptions to wearing a mask, including anyone under the age of 18, and people with medical conditions or disabilities. It also exempts people eating in restaurants, those outside who can physically distance, families in cars, private homes, and offices and workplaces that aren't public areas.

There's also a severability clause. That means if any sentence or phrase is found to be invalid by a court, it wouldn't affect the rest of the ordinance.

Some local attorneys have already said they'd sue the city if this mask mandate passed.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum said this ordinance is needed because the local healthcare system is becoming overwhelmed.

"We're in a circumstance right now where we're hearing from all of our hospital systems that we need something like this is place. We're hearing from doctors from around the state that something like this should be put in place. We're hearing from the superintendents of all three of our school districts now that we need this in place," Bynum said.

There were only two votes against the ordinance.

Connie Dodson and Cass Fahler say they voted against it because the voters in their district didn't agree with it.

It'll take effect as soon as Mayor Bynum signs it. He plans to sign it at 9 a.m. Thursday so Tulsa Police can share the plan with officers.

You can read the full ordinance here.