Jenks Mayor Robert Lee issues statement following Tulsa’s mask mandate

Jenks Mayor Robert Lee issues statement following Tulsa’s mask mandate

Wednesday, the City of Tulsa passed an ordinance requiring masks in many circumstances.

I know many of you have questions about what the City of Jenks plans to do, so I wanted to take a minute to address those concerns.

In short, we are not establishing a mask mandate in Jenks at this time. Tulsa is the region’s population center, so this decision will have a huge impact on slowing the spread in our area.

Jenks had a large spike in cases a few weeks ago, and we managed that spike. We are now back to where we have otherwise been for the duration of this pandemic, with one of the lowest numbers of cases in the state.

I support Tulsa’s decision to mandate masks. I personally wear a mask when I’m in public, and I urge Jenks citizens to do the same.

It is my hope that many Jenks businesses choose to require masks for their employees and customers before entering their establishment. This will protect their staff, as well as the community they serve.

A mask mandate in Jenks may be helpful, and I’m open to exploring the possibility as the situation progresses, but there are many challenges to instituting such a policy at this time. One of these challenges is enforcement. We have a small community police department that would be seriously burdened by such a law.

JPD isn’t going to write you a ticket if you don’t wear a mask, but there’s no question that you should wear one. It is a simple way to reduce transmission of the virus — to protect your family and mine. It is a simple way to protect our first responders, hospital staff, and teachers. It is a simple way to support our businesses.

Yes, masks can be misused. Yes, there were mixed messages in the early days of the pandemic from health officials, when masks were in short supply for hospital staff. Yes, there are some with certain health conditions who may be better off without masks. However, it is abundantly clear at this point that the vast majority of us should be wearing them.

Masks, while not a silver bullet by any stretch, are the best tool we have right now to slow the spread. If you’re not convinced that masks are effective, I encourage you to review information provided by the CDC and St. Francis Health System: https://www.saintfrancis.com/about-us/news/masks.

To the many who are contributing this effort, thank you. You know that science is real, and that it will take us working together to beat this pandemic. Please continue to keep your distance, wash your hands, and yes, mask up.

Kyle Salomon

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