Tulsa City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to extend the city’s mask mandate until at least April.
City councils voted 9-0 for the extension, a vote that took only a few minutes but a decision the councilors said required weeks of discussion and research.
Council Vice Chairperson and Representative for District 7 Lori Decter Wright spoke about the extension before the vote at an earlier meeting.
“I know some people think we’re just moving the needle. But we’re reacting to what’s happening here in Tulsa,” said Decter Wright.
Ultimately, the council said enlargement will help protect families and businesses while more people continue to be vaccinated.
“We’re looking down the road for 90 days and saying that if we speed up these vaccinations we really need to keep this up,” said Decter Wright.
District 9 city councilor Jayme Fowler said he was torn for making people wear masks but the risk of further infections is too great to ignore.
“It burdens my heart, but you know we are in a pandemic. Oklahoma ranks fourth from bottom in the country when it comes to coping with the COVID crisis. The COVID number has increased, we had to continue the mask regulation,” said Fowler.
The Council will reassess and vote the regulation in April.
The mask mandate now expires on April 30th at midnight. It was originally supposed to expire on January 31st.
Officials said, “The Tulsa City Mask Mandate requires a mask for anyone 10 years of age or older in public facilities and places of public accommodation.”
The extension of the mask mandate and the “additional virus-reduction measures approved in November,” the authorities said.