ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commission will consider making masks mandatory in public as well as other actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Commissioners will hear from health and medical officials, as well as the public, to discuss and determine whether to mandate or recommend masks in public; require bar and restaurant staff to wear masks; and limit gathering sizes, among other actions, City Manager Jerald Gilbert said.

As of Friday, 96 cumulative cases have been reported in Enid, with 22 active cases and two deaths, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Ward 3 Commissioner Ben Ezzell, in particular, said he has repeatedly pushed Mayor George Pankonin for more measures as cases began spiking again after the city reopened the beginning of June, when the county’s number of total cases hovered around 30.

“Based on the recent increases in the COVID infection rate, the weak precautions we have in place are clearly inadequate to the task of keeping our community safe,” Ezzell said.

Pankonin declared the special meeting as several Oklahoma cities have already instituted new measures or have planned to discuss possible ones next week. Gov. Kevin Stitt has repeatedly said statewide mandatory mask policies are out of the question, though recommending Oklahomans wear them in public.

Oklahoma recorded deaths related to COVID-19 in the state for four days in a row on Friday. Since early March, the state has seen 19,092 overall cases of COVID-19, with 416 deaths.

Last week, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt announced a proclamation that required restaurant and bar employees to wear masks at all times for two weeks, and its city will meet Thursday to consider mandatory masking in public. Stilwell’s mayor declared masks mandatory in public beginning last Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Norman’s city council passed a mask ordinance that requires the public to wear face coverings or masks while inside businesses, while Moore’s mayor says its city council has no intention to mandate masks.

Open to the public, Enid's special meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the city administration building’s council chambers, as well as via Zoom. Like all city meetings since the pandemic reopening, forehead temperatures will be taken outside the room.

An agenda has not yet been made available on the city’s website, but will be available next week with the Zoom code.

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Ewald is copy editor and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @oualexewald.

Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for Alexander? Send an email to aewald@enidnews.com.

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