The Oklahoma City's City Council voted to extend their mask mandate until the end of April. With COVID-19 cases on the decline, some health experts urge Oklahomans to still mask up.
With more Oklahomans receiving their vaccine, the Oklahoma City metro area has seen a decline in new cases. Within the last few days, hospitalizations have reached their lowest level since early October.
“With the numbers reported by the health department today, we’ve seen an 84% reduction in the number of new cases per day,” said OU Health's Dr. Dale Bratzler.
Oklahoma is in the top 10 in vaccine distribution and Oklahoma County alone has seen 24% of their residents get vaccinated.
However, even with the promising numbers and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, some local health officials urge everyone to still take precautions.
“We just need people to be compliant for a little bit longer,” said Phil Maytubby, with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. “If we jump out of this too early and we start another outbreak, that sets us back.”
Tuesday morning, OKC's City Council voted to extend its mask ordinance in indoor, public places. It was set to expire this week, but county health officials said there’s still many Oklahomans who have not received their vaccine and could spread the virus, including children.
“Twenty-five percent of our population are children,” said Maytubby. “That’s a lot of people that we need to make sure we protect.”
OCCHD also said there are times when a mask can be more effective against different strains of the virus.
“Like the South African variant, a vaccine may not be as effective against it,” said Maytubby.
City officials said this mask ordinance will be in place until April 30.