By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Effective noon Saturday, July 4, employees at restaurants and bars in Yukon city limits must wear facemasks and all City of Yukon employees and the public must wear masks while in City buildings.
Mayor Shelli Selby on Thursday, July 2 signed a proclamation updating the City of Yukon’s emergency declaration outlining requirements and recommendations for high-risk activities.
The action was intended to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
City officials cited a recent increase in the number of confirmed COVID cases in Canadian County and across Oklahoma. The City of Yukon had 161 positive cases on July 2 – the 13th most among Oklahoma municipalities, according to Oklahoma State Department of Health data.
New City of Yukon guidelines include:
* All employees of restaurants and bars in Yukon city limits are required to wear facemasks at all times.
* Bar capacities must be lowered to 50%.
* Any venue with theater-style seating is required to implement staggered seating, either by closing every other row (or the functional equivalent), with at least two seats between separate parties.
“People who are making our food, without a mask on, are oftentimes asymptomatic,” Mayor Selby said. “These food service employees are dealing with food that their customers are going to ingest.
“If you’re fixing my food, put a mask on. You ought to anyway.”
Anyone who enters a City of Yukon-owned facility also must now wear a mask, according to the updated guidelines.
“Like city hall, the gym and the library,” Selby said. “If it’s any of our properties, we want to keep our people safe.”
The emergency proclamation signed July 2 refers to statewide data reflecting a “significant upward trend in new cases of COVID-19 since mid-June” as Canadian County also has “experienced an increase of new cases” reflective of this trend.
There are 14,538 positive cases statewide with 293 cases in Canadian County (ninth most among Oklahoma’s 77 counties), the July 2 data shows.
The City of Yukon intends to follow remaining guidelines for other types of businesses and public access to other facilities as outlined in phase three of Oklahoma’s Open Up and Recover Safely (OURS) plan to reopen the state’s economy. Check the City’s website, http://www.yukonok.gov/covid19 and official social media accounts for updates.
WEARING MASKS ENCOURAGED
Along with Gov. Kevin Stitt and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, City of Yukon leaders encourage all citizens to follow protective guidelines and protect themselves and their families.
“I would encourage everyone to wear a mask – but I can’t make you do that,” Mayor Selby said. “Can you imagine trying to mandate that?”
Yukon’s mayor used an analogy to get her point across.
“If I believe in God and He’s not real, then I don’t have a lot to lose,” Selby said. “If you don’t believe in God and He’s real, you have a lot to lose.
“It’s the same way with a mask. If a mask is ineffective, then so what (if I wear one), I’ve been inconvenienced. But if a mask saves lives and you don’t wear one, you have a lot to lose.”
For more information about the City of Yukon’s latest emergency declaration, call the City Manager’s Office at 350-3939.