An Overview of Oklahoma Coronavirus Face Covering Mandate

For over two decades, William D. Jones, MD has worked at his private practice in Oklahoma City, OK where he specializes in occupational and preventive medicine. During his career, he served at Norman Regional Hospital in Norman, OK as the medical director. William D. Jones, MD has been keenly following the coronavirus pandemic in Oklahoma.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the City Council of Oklahoma approved an emergency public safety ordinance which compels everyone to wear face coverings in all indoor public places across the city. The ordinance that took effect immediately was backed by public health officials who said face coverings were key in slowing down the spread of COVID-19. According to the new regulations, everyone above 11 years is required to put on a face covering which includes either a mask or face shield. Children above the age of 3 years are encouraged to have a face covering although it is not mandatory.

Some of the exceptions of face coverings according to the ordinance include children aged below 10 years unless the mandate is enforced by a school or daycare facility and patrons who are eating or drinking in restaurants or bars. Other exceptions include individuals with developmental disabilities, patients receiving dental services, employees working in an office who don’t have face-to-face interactions with the public, and those attending religious services where social distancing is required.

The face covering requirement is expected to lapse on September 8, 2020 unless extended. A few weeks after the face covering mandate, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt indicated COVID-19 numbers had dropped compared to the period before the mandate was issued. According to his statement, public health data showed daily coronavirus diagnoses had gone down.