Exceptions include Children under 10, City parks, Pathfinder
To help combat rising numbers of Covid-19 infections in Bartlesville, masks or face coverings are now required at all City-owned facilities. The City Council approved the measure in a unanimous vote on Nov. 23. The move comes after several weeks of escalating Covid-19 infections have been reported across the country.
The mask requirement approved by the council applies only to City-owned facilities. It is not a citywide mask mandate, City Manager Mike Bailey said.
“This is not a mask mandate applicable to the entire city. It applies only to enclosed City-owned facilities,” Bailey said.
Enclosed City facilities include:
- City Hall
- Bartlesville Public Library
- Bartlesville Area History Museum
- Adams Golf Course (pro shop)
- Public Works
- Ted D. Lockin Water Treatment Plant
- Bartlesville Police Department
- Bartlesville Fire Department (all four stations and fire administration)
The requirement does not apply to children under 10, outdoor facilities such as parks and Pathfinder trails, or to employees who work in an office or vehicle that is not occupied by other people.
The requirement was enacted to help protect visitors to City facilities and City employees and to ensure continuity of services.
“This was needed not only to protect our employees and the public, but also to ensure that we can maintain continuity of City services. These include such services as trash collection, water and waste water production and, of course, police and fire services,” Bailey said.
Wearing a mask in public, along with frequent hand washing and distancing, is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local medical officials.
“We know (wearing a mask) curbs the virus,” said Ascension St. John Jane Phillips CEO Mike Moore.
Action is beginning to ramp up across the state as well. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-Oklahoma) announced recently that all State employees and visitors at State facilities are required to wear a mask, and Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas (R-District 3), dialed in support for a statewide mask mandate.
“With more than 1,500 Oklahomans now hospitalized and new positive cases averaging more than 2,600 per day, it’s time for Oklahoma to act,” Lucas said.
The resolution passed by the council on Nov. 23 also gives the city manager authority to close facilities, permit employees to work off-site as necessary, as well as take other actions aimed at protecting City employees and customers. Bailey said no changes are currently planned but ensures that provisions are in place if needed in the future.