Ordinance will be effective Dec. 20 to reduce the spread of COVID-19
The City of Claremore’s citywide mask and social distancing ordinance will be implemented on Dec. 20, 2020. The ordinance, approved at a special meeting on Nov. 20, 2020, requires individuals 10 years and older to wear a mask in public places. It also requires people to maintain six feet of distance between persons who are not part of the same household while in public places.
The city evaluated the possibility of implementing an earlier effective date, but determined a new ordinance and emergency clause would have to be enacted, requiring a super majority vote by the City Council.
“We encourage everyone to wear their masks now because it helps to alleviate the strain on our local healthcare system and is the best way to support our local economy,” said Bill Flanagan, Claremore mayor.
According to data compiled by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, a 7-day average of 70.6 new positive cases were recorded in Rogers County for the period ending Nov. 26, 2020.
“On behalf of the local health care community, I want to thank our city manager, mayor and city council for approving the mask ordinance. Wearing a mask, when combined with social distancing and frequently washing your hands, is still our best front-line defense to battle COVID-19,” said David Chaussard, CEO, Hillcrest Hospital Claremore. “The health care system locally and statewide has been under tremendous stress and we appreciate the efforts of city leadership to help all of us stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Chaussard.
The new ordinance requires a mask to be properly worn (covering the nose and mouth) in public places such as grocery stores, retail stores, public service areas, places of public accommodation and schools. The social distancing requirement states individuals must maintain 6 feet of distance between persons who are not part of the same household while in public places. It will remain in effect until Feb. 28, 2021, or until it is repealed, modified or extended by the City Council through a subsequent ordinance.
The City has developed online resources regarding the mask and social distancing ordinance at www.claremorecity.com/COVID. The site includes signage, graphics, a Frequently Asked Questions document and the ordinance.
Though there is no penalty directly related to non-compliance, individuals refusing to comply with the ordinance are subject to prosecution under criminal trespass, disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct or similar offenses as circumstances warrant. Claremore Police will enforce the ordinance.