(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / May 12, 2020) – Although not a current requirement of Mayor Joyce’s Emergency Proclamation, the City of Stillwater strongly encourages the use of face coverings in public spaces and is fully supportive of businesses and services who may require face coverings for customers as a precaution during the current pandemic. In the event of a violation of posted business requirements, Stillwater Police will respond promptly.

“The City of Stillwater is grateful to the retail, hospitality and service community who have worked diligently and creatively to provide access to essential products and services,” City Councilor Pat Darlington said. “As we take steps to open our economy, we want to promote safety and awareness of COVID-19 while supporting Stillwater’s business and commerce.”

Business owners reserve the right to establish additional operating requirements beyond those defined in the City’s proclamation. Businesses requiring face coverings should post clear signage indicating guidelines and requirements, and may call the Stillwater Police Department (SPD) if issues with compliance arise.

“We will respond promptly to business owners who experience issues enforcing guidelines. Citations can be issued for trespassing or violation of the City’s order,” SPD Captain Kyle Gibbs said. “The police department’s primary method of ensuring the community’s safety during this time is education and awareness, however we are responding to calls and will issue citations as necessary.”

As the City of Stillwater takes steps to re-open, residents and businesses are encouraged to continue exercising awareness of the COVID-19 virus by taking all recommended steps to reduce the spread and effects. The CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores, retail establishments, pharmacies).

Acceptable face coverings include R95, P95, dust masks, procedural masks, cotton bandanas, neck gaiters, running buffs and some tightly woven scarves. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Surgical masks or N95 respirators are not recommended for the general public. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

The City is currently taking face covering donations in order to host another community mask distribution event. See more information at http://stillwater.org/news/view/id/558.

See more information on the City’s plan to re-open Stillwater at http://stillwater.org/news/view/id/531.