ALTUS – The city of Altus has been one of the strongest enforcers of COVID-19 mandates since the pandemic first arrived seven months ago. So, it should not have been a surprise to see officials try to get ahead of any false rumors that go against the city’s actions.
On Monday Altus Mayor Jack Smiley sent out a reminder to residents that they still need to wear facial coverings when out in public.
“In response to unsubstantiated reports that the mayor’s emergency orders had been lifted requiring facial coverings within Altus city limits, the City of Altus released this statement today to remind the public that the Emergency Orders are still in effect and that the City would be responsible for communicating any changes to those Orders,” the statement read.
Despite having lower COVID-19 rates than other cities in the area and state, Smiley doesn’t believe now is the time to let up on fighting the spread of the virus.
“With the spread of COVID-19 still a major concern and new cases of the virus being confirmed on a daily basis in Altus and throughout Jackson County, Oklahoma, city officials reiterated the importance of social distancing, washing hands, and wearing facial coverings,” the statement read.
The mandate on facial coverings has been in effect in Altus since Aug. 21. According to Smiley, the orders have not changed.
“Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public places,” the order states. “Face coverings must also be worn in all outdoor public areas within the Altus city limits at all times when social distancing of at least six feet between persons not residing in the same household cannot be maintained.”
All restaurants and bars within the city limits must restrict occupancy to 50 percent of normal capacity and must comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for social distancing and sanitization.