DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - In a 3-2 vote, the Duncan City Council has voted in favor of a mask resolution, which recommends for masks to be worn in public.
Mayor Ritchie Dennington said masks are required at doctors and dental offices and bank waiting areas -- all other businesses are up to the owner.
Before the meeting even started, dozens of community members protested in silence, asking council to vote yes.
“Really appreciate the show of public support tonight. So many people outside that have worked to get thiis done. Really appreciate the three council members who voted for it as well,” said DRH President and CEO Jay Johnson.
While many in favor of masks were still outside, others did speak against it.
“Some people think wearing a face diaper, collecting what’s leaving your body and breathing it back in is healthy. I don’t get it.”
The resolution was read and a motion was made - The yay’s from Councilmembers Patty Wininger, Nick Fischer and Jennifer Smith.
“I don’t see the mask as taking away freedoms, I see it as loving thy neighbor,” said Councilmember Jennifer Smith
“It’s not a rights violation in my opinion, it’s a matter of public health and safety. While some have argued it’s not the council’s job to make the decision, I disagree with this,” Councilmember Patty Wininger.
The no’s - from Mayor Ritchie Dennington and councilmember Lindsay Hayes.
“Anybody will tell you wearing a mask doesn’t cause any breathing issues. Let’s say that’s true which it’s not 100 percent. Perception is reality, science has even come forward and said that If I perceive I cant breathe, I can’t,” said Councilmember Lindsay Hayes.
This was voted on as a resolution, not a mandate. Businesses can still allow people to shop without a mask, the decision is up to them, and no fines are set for not following it.
“I don’t think council is comfortable with an ordinance that will issue citations or arrest people unless they are told to leave. I think what this council wants to do is see the public start wearing a mask,” said City Attorney David Hammond.
This resolution goes into effect immediately -- This will be in place until February 28th, at which point, council will decide whether to extend it any longer.