The following letter was sent out from the mayor and city manager's office to Lawton businesses:

"As a local business and community leader, the City of Lawton asks for your partnership so that together we can:

• help keep your business, and others, open and operational, while at the same time,

• help motivate citizens/customers to follow the mask wearing ordinance, and therefore

• better protect the health and safety of our families, friends and neighbors, including your customers and your employees.

We currently do not expect to put the enforcement of this critically important ordinance on our local businesses. However, to ensure this and to ensure we can keep as many businesses open as possible, while still providing for the overall safety of everyone involved, we need businesses to partner with us.

Specifically, we need businesses to:

• Ensure the required signage mandating masks is properly posted at all entryways. The required signage can be downloaded from the City’s website at lawtonok.gov.

• Politely remind patrons of the mask requirement as customers approach to enter a business or when they are discovered in the store not wearing a mask/face-covering.

• Help educate patrons who might question the mask requirement by relaying to them something like, “Mask-wearing is for your protection, for the protection of our other customers, and for the protection of our employees as well. Please uphold the law and help us with this very important goal.”

• Ask those who might indicate their doctor has directed that they should not wear a mask, “Do you have a note from your doctor indicating the doctor recommends you should not wear a mask?” It is important to note that we would never want businesses to ask residents what medical condition might preclude mask wearing. Instead only ask if they have a note indicating masks are contra-indicatory for them. We do not expect you to verify said note by requiring them to show it. If they say they do have a note, it is acceptable for you/your employee to rely on that representation. However, if your store policy is to verify the note exists, you may do so.

• Refuse service to those defying the mask ordinance, unless and until the customer leaves or complies with the law. We request that you not exacerbate the potentially dangerous spread of COVID-19, and/or encourage such illegal behavior, by selling your goods or services to those that refuse to abide by this law.

• Call the City of Lawton any time assistance is needed, should a citizen become unruly or trespass due to the mandate. Our non-emergency Dispatch number is 580-581-3272. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1."

Recommended for you