Oklahoma Democrats Call For Repeal On Law Limiting Masks In Schools

Tuesday, August 3rd 2021, 7:13 am
By: Caleb Califano

State Democrats are pushing back against a new law that limits face masks and COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Oklahoma schools.

The Democrats want to repeal Senate Bill 658. It prevents local school districts from implementing a face mask policy, unless Gov. Kevin Stitt declares a state of emergency.

More than a dozen Democratic lawmakers across the state are calling for a special session to change that.

"What has to happen before we take COVID seriously? We have children in ICU. Our schools are about to open without the ability to protect staff and students, and as cases continue to rise, our vaccination rate is one of the worst in the nation," said House Minority Leader Emily Virgin. "If the governor is going to abdicate his responsibility, the Legislature must act."

The governor met with state Health Commissioner Lance Frye on Monday about rising COVID-19 cases.

The state confirmed nearly 5,600 new cases of the virus over the weekend.

Currently, the seven-day rolling average for new cases is just over 1,600.

But so far, the governor is not changing his stance from the past few weeks and said he has no plans to issue another COVID-related emergency and no plans to implement a mask mandate for classrooms.