Broken Arrow City Council approved a mask resolution 3-2 late Tuesday night at their monthly council meeting.
This mask resolution is not a mandate, with this vote it simply means while within Broken Arrow city limits, you are just encouraged to wear a mask but not required.
In a heated council meeting that lasted nearly four hours, BA council members voted in favor of a mask resolution for the city on their third attempt at doing so. They have discussed the idea at least five times over the course of the past year, but only attempted to take it to a vote now three times.
The same proposed resolution was brought up in January and failed to pass.
The vote came after an unplanned recess called by the council when people began shouting heated opinions at the councilors in chambers. Emotions ran high for the better part of the public comment section.
"One of my primary reasons for moving here was the ability to conduct business freely without a mask,” Garrett Hampton, a Broken Arrow resident said.
Councilman Johnnie Parks said it is clear their community needs to take mask-wearing seriously if they want to lower the case numbers.
“It's been demonstrated in the medical community that it does help,” Parks said. “Our data shows that it makes two and a half to five percent difference."
As part of the resolution, residents are also encouraged to continue to practice physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and still avoiding group gatherings.
The BA Fire Department has now also been given the task of helping out businesses that require a face covering if someone is refusing to wear a mask.