TULSA, Okla. — The call for Tulsa area cities to adopt their own mask mandates continued Thursday as Mayor G.T. Bynum prepared for his latest update on his own city’s COVID-19 response.
The City of Tulsa implemented a mask ordinance in July, but it wasn’t until Jenks approved its own mask requirements on Nov. 10 that any of the surrounding cities passed any significant coronavirus response measures.
City leaders in Sapulpa and Glenpool followed soon thereafter.
Despite the progress, Bynum called again Thursday for more action from either state leaders or other nearby cities.
“Based on the data that shows 68% of COVID hospital patients since September live outside Tulsa, we know the most effective improvement to be made would be a statewide mask order or mask ordinances in surrounding communities,” he wrote on Facebook Thursday morning.
Oklahoma reached an all-time high with more than 1,400 people hospitalized in connection with COVID-19 this week.
Gov. Kevin Stitt and state health officials have denied the effectiveness of a statewide mask order. Stitt implemented an executive order on Monday to put some restrictions back on restaurants and bars in the state.
Bynum joined the Tulsa Health Department’s Dr. Bruce Dart and other local leaders to update the COVID-19 situation on Thursday afternoon.
Bynum told reporters he hadn’t contemplated a shutdown in the city, pointing out that a statewide mask order would be far more effective than the restrictions on bars and restaurants.
He also asked Tulsa families to avoid large gatherings for Thanksgiving.
The CDC issued a warning Thursday for people to avoid traveling for the holiday.
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