At 1 p.m. Friday, the Oklahoma City-City Council will be voting on a proposed ordinance that would require face masks in public places on both public and private property.
If council members pass the ordinance with seven or more votes, face mask requirements will take effect immediately. If only five or six vote yes, it won't take effect until August 21.
Under the proposed ordinance by councilman Mark Stonecipher, police would hand out tickets for any violators. Multiple violations could reach up to $500.
The mandate says face masks must cover both the mouth and nose and be worn in public places including private property.
There are exemptions for people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing one.
Thursday, councilmembers talked at length with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department on how to roll out enforcement and education on masks.
City Manager Craig Freeman says federal aid through the CARES act could be made available, so on the first violation law enforcement could just give someone a mask for free, instead of writing them a ticket
“I love the idea of that enforcement arm, in that first interaction, with someone without a mask, to be able to say, ‘here’s a mask.’ I think that can help lower tensions,” Ward 2 Councilman James Cooper said.
No matter how it passes, the ordinance would end on September 8.
Public comments will be heard at Friday afternoon's meeting before the vote. Changes could also be made to the ordinance beforehand.
Ordinance Requiring Face Masks in Public To Be Considered During OKC Council Meeting