The Tulsa City Council voted to extend the city's mask mandate through at least April with a unanimous vote Wednesday.
Councilors voted 9-0 in favor of the extension, a vote that passed in only a few minutes, but a decision that councilors said took weeks of discussion and research.
Vice Chair of the Council and District 7 representative Lori Decter Wright spoke at an earlier meeting discussing the extension before the vote.
"I know some people think that we’re just moving the needle. But what we’re doing is being responsive to what is happening right here in Tulsa right now," Decter Wright said.
Ultimately the council said the extension will help protect families and business while more people continue to get vaccinated.
"We're looking down the road 90 days and saying we're really going to need to keep this in place as we ramp up these vaccinations," Decter Wright said.
District 9 councilman Jayme Fowler said he was torn about making people wear masks but says the risk of more infections was too great to ignore.
"It weighs on my heart, but you know, we are in a pandemic. Oklahoma ranks fourth last in the country as far as addressing the COVID crisis. The COVID count is up, we needed to continue the mask ordinance," Fowler said.
The council will re-evaluate the ordinance in April and vote again.
The mask mandate will now expire at midnight on April 30. It was originally set to expire on January 31.
Officials said "The City of Tulsa’s mask mandate requires a mask for all persons 10 years old and older in public settings and in places of public accommodation."
The extension the mask mandate and the "additional virus mitigation measures approved in November," according to officials.