Tulsa Health Dept. Director Anticipates Mask Mandate If Spike Continues

Wednesday, July 8th 2020, 5:25 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart says he will recommend making masks a requirement within the county if trends continue the way they are.

Right now, he anticipates the spike in cases will continue.

Dart says the county has had nearly 500 cases in just the past two days and if that continues over the next few days he says "their decision will be made for them."

Related Story: 673 More COVID-19 Cases, 3 New Virus-Related Deaths Reported In Oklahoma, State Health Officials Say

If he recommends it, it will be up to mayors and city councils to approve a mandate.

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum says the biggest hurdle for implementing it will be how will they enforce it, and what exemptions will be made within the mandate itself.

Bynum says the city and health department's legal teams are now evaluating other mask ordinances around the country about ways to implement them if it comes to that point.

Bynum says he does not take decisions like this lightly.

"When we put that kind of mandate in place, we will be putting it there because we had no other choice but to do that to protect their ability to get medical care over the long term of this pandemic," said Bynum.

Right now, Bynum says hospital capacity remains strong, but if current trends continue that could change.

Data still shows, almost half of cases in Tulsa County are being reported in people 18 to 35 years old.