Tulsa is the only city in the Green Land with a mask mandate, but that could soon change for some of the surrounding areas.
The city of Tulsa is organizing a meeting of regional cities, hospitals and the Tulsa Health Department next Thursday. Meanwhile, most cities said they are monitoring COVID-19 infection rates and making changes if necessary.
Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum said the city’s mask mandate has helped slow the spread of COVID-19, but his hands are tied when it comes to surrounding communities.
“The vast majority of those currently hospitalized in Tulsa with COVID-19 do not live on the Tulsa city limits,” Bynum said at the news conference on Tuesday.
Jenks Mayor Robert Lee said Jenks City Council will consider a mask mandate on Nov. 10.
“I want to be able to look these first responders in the eyes, look their families in the eye, and tell them that I’ve done everything I can to keep them and their families safe,” Lee said.
Meanwhile, Sapulpa Mayor Craig Henderson said he was trying to get Sapulpa city council to pass a mask mandate in July. He hopes that will change at some point.
“Not everyone will be happy, but for the health and safety of my community, as well as Tulsa and the surrounding community, we just have to do it if it works,” said Henderson.
News On 6 also checked in with neighboring cities:
City of Bixby:
“The City of Bixby has been closely monitoring and actively evaluating its pandemic response since the onset of COVID-19. Prior to changing current guidelines to follow state protocols, the council must be provided with actionable, community-specific data that has not been posted on the Oklahoma Department of Health’s website. Basic, ongoing information needs include statistics such as the number of Bixby residents admitted to hospital and any local hotspots identified by the Tulsa County Health Department. “
Broken Arrow City: A city spokesman said the mayor refused to conduct an interview and declined to make a statement.
City of Collinsville: No Answer.
City of Glenpool:
“The City of Glenpool continues to closely monitor our COVID situation at the local level. We look forward to the planned regional discussion on COVID over the next week and after this important meeting we will consider whether any changes to the response or policy may be required from a regional perspective . “
City of Owasso:
“The city of Owasso is evaluating the COVID-19 numbers on a daily basis and we are ready to take action if necessary. Owasso continues to have some of the lowest percentages of positive cases and related deaths per capita. Most of our trading and business operations have implemented policies that require masks to be followed by customers and employees with only occasional exceptions. Given the high rate of compliance with individual mask guidelines in our community and given the fact that Owasso’s COVID-19 numbers are still lower than in other communities in the region, there are currently no plans to pass a mask ordinance. Should conditions change, we will reevaluate our position at that time. “
City of sand springs:
“The City of Sand Springs continues to monitor COVID numbers related to our community. We also report daily to our mayor and council, giving them statistics on the infection rate of our community and how we compare to other communities in the metropolitan area. This subject is also on every agenda of the Council and is discussed at Council meetings. As of this date, our rate will be less than any other municipality in the metro area with the exception of one. The city balances the rights of the individual with those of public safety as a whole. If we see a pattern in our community that the rate is increasing, we are ready to make changes to our ordinances as the city council deems appropriate. “
The Tulsa Health Department:
“The Tulsa Health Department encourages everyone to follow the CDC recommendations on face covering as these continue to be important in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. As CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said earlier this year, “Cloth covers are one of the most powerful weapons we need to slow and stop the spread of the virus – especially when used universally in a community. I also wanted your attention to Page 13 of the Oklahoma Department of Health’s latest weekly epidemiological report, which includes data for the state of Oklahoma on the effects of mask mandates. ”