LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The mask mandate will remain in effect in Lawton, at least until January 12th of next year.
Discussion from those for and against masks took up the majority of the meeting, before council made the decision to keep the mandate in effect.
“What made a big deal to me was the chart that showed how well Lawton is doing in deaths and active cases compared to cities that don’t have a mask mandate," said Mayor Stan Booker.
The pro side featured arguments from school and health officials.
“This is a united community effort. A mask mandate at LPS and Ft. Sill without a mask mandate for Lawton isn’t going to work.”
“This really isn’t about your personal rights, it truly isn’t. It’s about our nation, our community our family going through a pandemic”
And for those speaking against masks... much of their time spent at the podium was questioning council’s choices and the severity of the virus.
“We voted for you to protect our god given, constitutional rights not our health. You are not responsible for my health, I am responsible for my health.”
“Why are we seeing all these cases this deep into the mandate, why are hospitals full with all the filthy mask wearing”
“Although there is a high infection rate, nothing to worry there because we actually have a cure for it, whether or not the hospitals are using it.”
And after all the discussion, the room emptied before council even made their decision, but with the mandate still in place, the next step is to finalize an exit strategy, even if a vaccine could be available sometime soon.
“The council committee and staff will work together to come up with an exit plan, and they will do that in consultation with health officials, they will come up with recommendations for council and we’ll revisit that in January," said Mayor Booker.
Mayor Booker said this community input happens every day, not just at the council meetings -- and their decision tonight was for the overwhelming support each council member has received.
Mayor Booker said masks are the only requirement in Lawton and by mandating them, the city’s economy is able to stay open.