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Norman launches 'Mask Up in May' to encourage residents to wear masks for COVID-19 protection

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Coronavirus COVID-19

The Norman City Council, fire department and police department launched its “Mask Up in May” campaign Tuesday to encourage Norman residents to wear masks for COVID-19 protection.

According to a press release, the public information campaign began Monday with a promotional video featuring Olympians Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci, OU football coaches Barry Switzer and Lincoln Riley, House minority leader Emily Virgin, State Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman, Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman, and others.

“The Mask Up in May campaign is meant to be a positive reminder that something as simple as washing our hands and wearing a mask can help save lives,” Mayor Breea Clark said in the release. “I am proud of the many Normanites that have stepped up to help their neighbors in these unusual times. As we continue our progress (toward) a full reopening, we’re asking that you continue to look out for your neighbors by wearing a facial covering.”

According to the release, residents will not be issued a citation for not wearing a mask, though Norman police and fire departments will patrol for “residents (practicing) exceptional social distancing to reward.” Chick-Fil-A, Eskimo Sno and Westwood Aquatics have donated prizes for the campaign.

“It’s much easier to stop the spread of infected droplets at the source rather than once they’re spread out in the air,” said Kate Cook, medical director for pediatric hospital medicine and school telehealth at the Norman Regional Health System, in the release. “Wearing even a cloth mask will reduce the risk of spreading (COVID-19) to those around you.”

Residents in need of masks can visit the public information system 2-1-1 Oklahoma’s website, according to the release.

“A pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carrier can spread the infection to others before they even realize they themselves are infected,” Cook said in the release. “Wearing a mask shows that you care about other people enough to make a small sacrifice.”

Beth Wallis is a senior journalism major and political science minor, and news managing editor for The Daily. Previously, she worked as a junior news reporter covering university research.

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