Mayor Holt would welcome statewide mask mandate by Gov. Kevin Stitt
Asked Sunday whether Gov. Kevin Stitt should issue a statewide mask mandate after weekend increases in new daily COVID-19 cases, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said a metro-wide mandate would be welcome.
Oklahoma City's emergency management office issued an unusual weekend situation report after the state Health Department reported a record 4,741 new COVID-19 cases Saturday. The city's update noted Saturday's figure doubled the previous one-day record.
The state revised the number downward on Sunday, to 4,507, citing duplicates removed from the list. There was no additional report Sunday.
Oklahoma City's hospital system ended the week in the third-highest (of four) alert levels, in which 20% to 39% of staffed beds are taken by COVID-19 patients. Here's what Holt said Sunday afternoon, by text:
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"Cities like Oklahoma City that have a mask requirement for public places have enjoyed lower transmission rates of COVID-19 than cities that don’t.
"The state Health Department regularly distributes data that plainly demonstrates that fact. That means lives have been improved and in some cases saved by the simple act of wearing a mask.
" In addition, it has helped businesses stay open.
"I am grateful that OKC’s council and most of our surrounding suburbs have prioritized health and the needs of small businesses by adopting this simple measure.
"Statewide decisions are obviously out of our jurisdiction here in OKC, but I don’t know why everyone in our state wouldn’t want to enjoy the same benefits that we are experiencing in the OKC metro.
So far, Oklahoma City leads the state with 21,200 total cases.
"I’m not elected to make decisions for parts of the state hundreds of miles from OKC," Holt said, "but I’ll say that we would absolutely welcome a mask requirement encompassing the OKC metro, similar to the regional restrictions applied early on in this pandemic.
"It simplifies the process and brings continuity across the many political jurisdictions."