OKLAHOMA CITY — State Rep. Jason Lowe, D-OKC, filed legislation Friday to save Oklahoman’s lives and reduce hospitalizations during the COVID pandemic.
The COVID-19 Save Lives Response Act, House Bill 2192, triggers a statewide mask mandate within the state until the Oklahoma State Department of Health confirms that COVID-19 related hospitalizations have remained at or below 300 for 30 consecutive days.
“It is time that our state takes action against COVID-19 to save lives and to successfully and safely reopen schools and our economy,” said Lowe. “Though it is great that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are now being distributed throughout the state, it is still necessary that we practice social distancing and wear masks to protect our communities until enough people receive the vaccine.”
The same day Lowe filed the legislation, the Oklahoma State Department of Health data displayed an increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate and 55 additional deaths, bringing the state’s total number of deaths to 3,231.
“A mask mandate is long overdue,” Lowe said. “We have actual data that shows mandates help decrease the spread. If the executive branch won’t act on its own, it is imperative that we as Legislators put into place precautions that save lives.”
Additionally, Lowe believes that Oklahoma should follow the guidance of the federal government and President Joe Biden, who signed executive orders to mandate masks on federal property and interstate planes this Thursday.
“For nearly a year, our dedicated health care professionals have told us that wearing masks is effective,” Lowe said. “It is time to fully follow their recommendations so we can move forward.”
Lowe plans to move the legislation forward quickly and hopes his colleagues will support him in his effort to respond to the current public health crisis. He asks citizens to call and email their local legislators in support of HB2192.