Sapulpa Becomes Latest Local City To Adopt Mandatory Mask Ordinance To Combat COVID-19
The Sapulpa City Council voted 6-4 Monday night to approve an ordinance requiring the use of face coverings in many public settings, in an attempt to address the spread of COVID-19.
"It was a long night, but I'm glad that we did it," said Mayor Craig Henderson, reached by phone Tuesday morning. "And I'm glad that we're supporting the efforts of Tulsa and some of the other cities that are trying to be proactive, hopefully, until we can ... cut down on hospital admissions and people getting sick."
Henderson told Public Radio Tulsa in August that he supported such a measure but that his council at that time did not. Henderson noted Tuesday that this week's successful passage was the second time he had brought the ordinance for a vote. He said he would tell citizens opposed to masks to reframe their thinking.
"I hate masks. I hate wearing masks. But I would tell them if it saves one person, one family member from losing another family member, if it saves one person in our city from having to be admitted to the hospital, then it was worth, I think, our effort," Henderson said.
Henderson said the enforcement mechanism is similar to that of Tulsa's, where property owners can call police and have someone brought up on a trespassing charge if they refuse to wear a mask or leave the premises.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, who has long called for neighboring cities to introduce mask ordinances similar to Tulsa's due to soaring hospitalization rates, praised the decision.
"In Oklahoma, in hard times we've always come to the aid of our neighbors in need. That's what made the last few weeks so frustrating: our medical professionals who are courageously fighting this virus are telling us what they need, and for a while it felt like Tulsa was standing alone in its willingness to respond," Bynum said.
"Then Jenks stood up. Now Sapulpa. I am so grateful for our neighbors in these cities who are meeting the Oklahoma Standard."