Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the majority of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Tulsa are coming from the surrounding communities.
Bynum is encouraging leaders in neighboring cities to come together to come up with a strategy.
Bynum said his office has reached out to city leaders in neighboring communities, like Broken Arrow, Owasso and Jenks. His goal is to set up a meeting with all of them, and hospital leaders in Tulsa to discuss strategies to slow the spread of the virus.
Bynum said the hospitals in Tulsa serve not only Tulsans but everybody in this region, and right now hospitalizations are 20% higher than they were during the spring and summer.
Tulsa is the only city in the county that currently has a mask mandate.
Bynum said he understands people have been wound up in the mask or no mask debate. He's asking city leaders in neighboring communities to simply meet and listen to the hospitals.
He said he's not presuming they have a perfect approach in Tulsa to slow the spread and will listen to other communities as well.
"Tulsa, as we've said before, doesn't exist in a bubble,” said Bynum. “We're a metro area and the viability of our healthcare system in that metro area is not the sole purview of the city of Tulsa government. It has to be a coordinated effort amongst many."
Bynum is also pleading with people who test positive for the virus to cooperate with the Tulsa Health Department and provide contact tracing information.