NORMAN, Okla. (KOCO)— The city of Norman decided overnight to expand its mask mandate to include social gatherings at private homes.
According to a news release, the Norman City Council Tuesday passed amendments to the mask ordinance requiring residents to wear facial coverings when in social gatherings of more than 25 people both on public or private property.
Working in combination with the University of Oklahoma’s required masking for students, the changes are targeted at managing the increase in large, unmasked house parties since university students’ return, officials said.
“With students back in town, Norman has had an influx of 20,000+ new residents, and with it, we have seen an escalation in the number of large social gatherings where the mask ordinance is not being followed along with a rise in reported cases of COVID-19. Council felt more guidance was needed in how to manage these potential super spreader events that are really unique to college towns,” said Mayor Breea Clark. “We are not limiting social gatherings as we did previously. We are simply asking that if you do have a large social gathering, you wear a mask and practice social distancing.”
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The amendments place greater responsibility on individuals by putting a potential $50 to $500 fine in place for non-compliance, officials said. This is in addition to possible prosecution for criminal trespass, disturbing the peace, interference with an official process, or similar offenses as circumstances warrant that was in place in the original ordinance.
Full text of ordinance can be found at this link.