Stillwater rescinded its requirement that restaurant and retail customers wear face coverings after businesses reported employees facing threats of violence over the masks, according to a news release.
Mayor Will Joyce amended his emergency proclamation to “encourage” citizens to wear face coverings while at essential and nonessential businesses.
City Manager Norman McNickle said in a press release that businesses relayed that store employees had been “threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse” Friday.
“In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm,” McNickle said. “This has occurred in three short hours and in the face of clear medical evidence that face coverings helps contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Many of those with objections cite the mistaken belief the requirement is unconstitutional, and under their theory, one cannot be forced to wear a mask. No law or court supports this view.”
The city’s news release did not specify where threats against employees or verbal abuse had occurred.
Stillwater Police Chief Jeff Watts issued a separate statement refuting social media claims that the department was checking motorists for face coverings, responding to complaints about them or ticketing those without coverings.