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Yukon not planning mask mandate

The city of Yukon does not plan to follow the leads of several other communities and require residents to wear face coverings when in public.
Mayor Shelli Selby said this week that enforcing a mandate for facemasks would be virtually impossible.
“We are hoping the people will take responsibility for themselves and wear a mask. But, looking at our numbers, it doesn’t look like we’re going that way,” Selby said by phone Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Tulsa City Council voted to mandate masks for those who are in public in that city. Norman and Stillwater also have issued mask mandates.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City’s city council was expected to take up the issue Friday.
Enid’s city lawmakers rejected a similar proposal earlier this week.
Selby said enforcement of a law requiring use of a mask would be next to impossible, especially based on the staffing of the police department.
“That could change. We’re looking at the numbers daily,” she said. “I am very impressed with Walmart and Sprouts for making it mandatory (to wear masks) to enter their stores.”
Walmart announced that beginning Monday, anyone entering either Walmart or Sam’s Club stores will be required to wear a mask. Target, late in the week followed suit.
Several other businesses, including Starbucks, have made masks mandatory as well.
Selby said she shopped at the Yukon Target store on Wednesday, and most people were wearing masks.
“I saw more masks than I have in the past. I think people are getting it,” she said.
The goal, she said, is to make sure the health facilities in Yukon are not overloaded with patients.
Selby also explained her decision last week to lift restrictions on the number of people who could be in bars.
Yukon has two bars that do not normally serve food.
Until last week, bars were limited to 50 percent occupancy.
However, several restaurants have bars as well and they did not have any restrictions on the number of patrons that could be in the establishment.
Selby said there were questions of whether that was legal.
“We were singling out a business. We only have two bars in the city limits. I was looking at the legalities, and it looked like we were singling them out,” she said.
Because the restaurants didn’t have the limits, Selby said the bars shouldn’t.
“Most restaurants haven’t gone back to 100 percent capacity, but they do have that ability,” she said.
While the requirement to limit the number of customers has been lifted, other requirements for bars and restaurants, including the mandatory wearing of masks, remain in place.
In addition, there are social distancing rules in place for businesses with theater-style seating. Those rules require every other row to be closed, or at least two seats between parties.
The number of people diagnosed positive with the COVID-19 virus has risen dramatically over the past few days in Yukon and Canadian County.
As of Friday, there are 161 active cases of the virus in the county. In all, there have been 631 people diagnosed with the illness with 470 considered to have recovered.
There have been three deaths in the county.
Yukon has had 344 cases, while Mustang has had 101 and El Reno has 99 people who have tested positive.
Piedmont has had 49 positive cases, while Okarche has had 15. Union City and Calumet each have had three cases.
Statewide, the health department reported that 24,140 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

1 Comment

  1. Tim OConnor on July 17, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks city council for not protecting the public health of Yukon citizens. With the work of other municipalities we are opening up our city to more exposure by misguided people to come to Yukon. You did it with the July 4 celebration and now this. A simple mask ordinance according to CDC recommendations could lower the spread tremendously within a couple of months. Do your job and require masks in public places.

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