Correction: This story originally incorrectly reported the city agency that will provide assistance to businesses that have mask requirements in instances where individuals refuse to comply with those requirements. The agency is the Broken Arrow Police Department. The story has been corrected.
The Broken Arrow City Council passed a mask resolution Tuesday night after an over four-hour meeting and months of debate.
The City Council passed the resolution in a 3-2 vote, encouraging — not mandating — both residents and visitors to wear masks in public "to reduce the transmission of COVID-19."
Mayor Craig Thurmond, Vice Mayor Scott Eudey and Councilor Johnnie Parks voted in favor of the resolution, and Councilors Debra Wimpee and Christi Gillespie voted against it.
The is at least the fifth time the Broken Arrow City Council has discussed masks. In November, the issue was discussed at one meeting, but no action was taken. Later that month, a nonbinding resolution that would have "strongly recommended" masks in public failed in a 1-4 vote.
In January, a mask mandate proposal died before a vote could be called. In February, the council voted 2-3 against a mask resolution, with Thurmond voting with Wimpee and Gillespie against the resolution.
Thurmond requested that the resolution be put on Tuesday's meeting agenda.
In addition to encouraging individuals to wear masks, the resolution pledges support from the city and the Broken Arrow Police Department to provide assistance to businesses that have mask requirements in instances where individuals refuse to comply with those requirements.
In addition to masks, the resolution encourages individuals to practice social distancing, avoid touching their faces, wash their hands regularly and avoid group gatherings when possible.