TULSA, okla. – Tulsa City Council has decided to make changes to several city ordinances to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Previously, events with 500 or more people were required to submit a safety plan that had to be approved by the Tulsa Health Department.
A safety plan approved by the health department must now be available for every event on or after December 11th with 150 or more people. The plan must be submitted to THD 14 calendar days prior to the event.
City council members also approved measures to enforce Tulsa’s Mask Ordinance. Before Tuesday, a company was able to phone a customer’s trespassing police if they refused to wear a mask. Now it can be viewed as a health nuisance.
Councilor Kara Joy McKee said a big reason for enforcing the regulation lies with the companies themselves.
“I hear from companies in the fourth district that if they haven’t all had some enforcement, my customers come in and I say, ‘You have to wear a mask. ‘And they say,’ Why? There is no penalty for wearing a mask. “And they want there to be a punishment,” McKee said.
The council also voted to expand Governor Kevin Stitt’s order from last week. In addition to bars and restaurants, public accommodation and public facilities must take measures to ensure social distancing between customers, customers and attendees. This means that places like a spa or hair salon need to separate customers by at least two meters.
READ MORE: Governor Stitt Announces New Measures To Limit The Spread Of COVID-19 In The State
The council also agreed that companies must make consistent efforts to get customers and attendees to adhere to face covering requirements and put in place a hygiene protocol to protect employees and customers
According to the city of Tulsa, THD will work with public accommodation to ensure compliance with city ordinances. Businesses that fail to take steps to meet face-covering, social distance, separation, or event requirements can be classified as a public nuisance and face reductions and penalties.
A violation of the enforced regulations could have serious consequences. The maximum general penalty for violating a harassment ordinance is US $ 1,200 fine and up to six months in prison.
The Mayor of Tulsa, GT Bynum, signed these measures on Wednesday morning. In a statement, Bynum expressed gratitude and support for efforts to save lives.
“I want to thank the leadership of so many of our surrounding communities, and especially my colleagues on Tulsa City Council, for working to save lives and support our troubled healthcare system. I wholeheartedly support this stepped-up mitigation effort for Tulsa, and I strongly encourage Tulsans to remain vigilant as we navigate through one of the most difficult times in this pandemic. I will legally sign these measures tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. and I am grateful to all companies and individuals who are doing their part to contain the spread of this disease. ”
Dr. Bruce Dart, executive director of the Tulsa Department of Health, also expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the city of Tulsa to fight the virus.
“I appreciate the efforts of the City of Tulsa to strengthen existing ordinances to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community, especially our most vulnerable. The Tulsa Health Department remains committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of Tulsa County’s residents. Just as THD employees inspect local food operations to ensure they are working safely to prevent foodborne illness, our employees will now also help local businesses keep their employees and customers safe. ”
Tulsa City Council Chairman Ben Kimbro also thanked city and health officials for developing improved public safety regulations.
“Many thanks to my colleagues on the council, the mayor and the staff of the City / Ministry of Health for their efforts to enact regulations to protect our community. The local government is responsible for ensuring public safety. These ordinances were passed in the interests of saving lives; Period. I ask the community to work with the city and the health department to stop this virus from spreading. We must all work together to maintain the health of our fellow citizens, especially our most vulnerable. ”
CLICK HERE to report non-compliance with existing city ordinances regarding COVID-19 measures. 911 should only be called for life threatening emergencies.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Tulsa City Approved Guidelines for Enforcing COVID-19 Restrictions
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