Skip to content

Midwest City requiring masks for restaurant, bar employees

New mask requirement effective through Sept. 30

By Jeff Harrison
Managing Editor

Workers at Midwest City restaurants and bars must now wear masks after the city manager announced new restrictions last Friday to slow the spread of COVD-19.

An employee at Henry Hudson’s wears a mask while pouring drinks. Midwest City issued an ordinance requiring all restaurant and bar staff to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Jeff Harrison)

City Manager Tim Lyon issued the mandate due to recent increases in infection rates and hospitalizations.

“Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, we have closely monitored the data on the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in order to respond with requirements to help keep our residents safe,” Lyon said. “We will continue to monitor the data and to make needed changes or adjustments to our ordinance with the health and safety of our community as our priority.”

The proclamation states that on-premise staff in restaurants, breweries, wineries, taverns, shopping mall food courts, food halls, cafeterias, bars, night clubs, and any other food services to wear masks or face coverings while on duty. The proclamation modified a previous ordinance and became effective Friday, July 10.  The restrictions will last until Sept. 30.
The mandate does not apply to other businesses, but Lyon encourages everyone to wear a mask.

Lyon said local restaurants and bars have taken measures to protect the health and safety of employees and patrons, including many that require masks.

“Our overall desire is to stop the spread and keep our numbers in check,” Lyon said. “One way the CDC recommends is make sure bar and restaurant employees are masked up.”

Lyon stopped short of requiring businesses to reduce their capacity, as the city had previously done. He said many restaurant and bar owners had a difficult time complying with the table spacing policy due to the layout of their business.

“We’d rather allow restaurant owners and managers to use a common sense approach,” Lyon said. “If we don’t feel like that is occurring, then we’ll come back and amend the order to force distancing.”

Oklahoma has seen a steady rise in positive cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks. On Monday, the Oklahoma State Health Department reported 510 new positive cases, bringing the total number to 20,745 since the pandemic began in the state.

As of Monday, Midwest City had 58 total cases and 18 active cases, Choctaw had 72 cases and 19 active, and Del City had 34 cases and 12 active.
Lyon said locally they have also seen an increase in hospitalizations. Last week, AllianceHealth Midwest had five patients in their COVID-19 wing, but none required a ventilator, Lyon said.

“We went through about 45 days without anyone being hospitalized with COVID and now we’re starting to see that,” Lyons said. “And we’re seeing an increase at hospitals in the greater Oklahoma City metro.”

Norman and Stillwater have issued public mask mandates and other cities are considering them. Lyon said he will not push for such an order at this time.
Masks of face coverings are required at City Hall and other City facilities.

The city council granted Lyon authority to issues ordinances related to businesses during the pandemic. Any changes impacting the public would need to be approved by the city council.

1 Comment

  1. Gala on July 15, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    No!! Please change that picture of the bartenderwith the mask on THE WRONG WAY!! Now others are going to think they are protected this way. You have to cover your nose!!

Leave a Comment