OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Mask mandates intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus are ending in Oklahoma’s two largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The requirement ended Friday in Oklahoma City and comes to an end Saturday in Tulsa, although the mandate continues at places such as city offices in both cities.
Mayors David Holt in Oklahoma City and G.T. Bynum in Tulsa both credited virus vaccinations for lowering the number of virus cases and hospitalizations.
“It is possible we are taking the miracle vaccinations for granted,” Holt said during a Friday news conference. “These proven, safe vaccines are remarkable.”
Bynum said residents should also continue wearing masks when in groups of non-family members.
“While we're in a position to end the city's mandate that people wear masks in public that doesn't mean everyone should have a mask burning party over the weekend,” Bynum said Thursday.
In both cities, private businesses can continue requiring masks if desired.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health on Friday reported 448,305 total virus cases since the pandemic began. The seven-day rolling average of new cases in the state has declined from 314.4 daily to 240.7, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.