Norman City Council passes ordinance requiring facial coverings when in public

As COVID-19 cases rise across the state and locally, Norman City Council passed an ordinance requiring residents to wear facial coverings when outside their homes during their Tuesday meeting. The ordinance, which includes exceptions for certain activitie

As COVID-19 cases rise across the state and locally, Norman City Council passed an ordinance requiring residents to wear facial coverings when outside their homes during their Tuesday meeting. The ordinance, which includes exceptions for certain activities and those with medical conditions, works in combination with the University of Oklahoma’s required masking for students and lasts through November 30, 2020.

In support of the ordinance, the City will be providing disposable masks to businesses for distribution to customers wishing to enter the premise. These masks are anticipated to arrive the week of July 13 and distribution sites will be announced soon.  

Face coverings need not be a medical mask, any cloth facemask, towel, scarf or bandana will suffice if it fully covers the nose and mouth in accordance with the U.S. Center for Disease Control guidance. Closely mirroring CDC guidance, the ordinance allows for the following exceptions:

  • People or situations identified by the CDC where the wearing of a cloth face covering may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns. People exempted under this category shall consider the use of a face shield and the use of carryout, curbside pickup and online delivery services.
  • Restaurant and bar patrons while they are eating or drinking;
  • People exercising in communal outdoor spaces, or walking or others from the same household in communal outdoor spaces, provided social distancing is maintained;
  • Children under the age of six years old;
  • Settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering such as when receiving dental or medical treatment and services;
  • Occupants inside a personal vehicle, personal office, or similarly private space while others outside the occupant’s household are not present;
  • Private homes;
  • Private lodging rooms in places of public accommodation; and
  • Offices and workplaces that are not public service areas where physical distancing between employees and other occupants can be consistently maintained during hours of operation.

Enforcement of the ordinance, which is effective immediately, will take an education first approach and follow procedures already in place and familiar to residents and law enforcement such as prosecution for criminal trespass, disturbing the peace, interference with official process or similar offenses as circumstances warrant.

In addition to the required face coverings, the ordinance also includes required capacity limitations for restaurants and bars, where the use of face coverings is not possible. These limitations require:

  • All dining areas be arranged to promote social distancing to the maximum extent possible between groups of patrons;
  • Bars and bar areas within restaurants limit the capacity for patrons to the number of seats available, which should be arranged to promote social distancing between groups of patrons; and
  • Close standing room only areas, not including the entryway, to patrons.

To read the ordinance in full visit www.coronavirus.normanok.gov. Posters for businesses and additional COVID-19 information will also be available on the website. For questions regarding this ordinance or to report a violation contact the Action Center at (405) 366-5396 or [email protected].