Mayor G.T. Bynum said the city of Tulsa is not ready to cancel its mask mandate yet, but they will keep watching the numbers.
Almost one year since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Tulsa County, city leaders are reflecting on what's been a challenging 12 months.
"In the last year, we've lost over 700 of our neighbors to COVID-19," said Mayor G.T. Bynum.
On Thursday afternoon, they held a prayer before updating the public on the pandemic in the county.
Saturday marks one year since a Tulsa man was first diagnosed with COVID-19. Within a few weeks of that announcement, the city issued a stay at home order and eventually a mask mandate, which now runs through April 30.
"We're going to make our decisions based on the local and independent guidance of our healthcare providers in Tulsa," said Bynum.
Bynum said he's been meeting daily with healthcare professionals about guidance for the mandate and other ways to keep Tulsans safe.
While he said case numbers are encouraging and have been declining since early January, he's not comfortable yet cancelling the mandate early.
"As soon as those with expertise and protecting the health and safety of our community, believe it's time to lift that order, we will do so," said Bynum.
Bynum said it's important Tulsa does not drop its guard prematurely because it would be politically popular, but rather listen to the experts. And now one year later, he's hopeful things fully get back to normal soon.