It was announced yesterday (08-04-20) that the Lawton Police Department would begin random compliance checks to ensure that the city's face mask ordinance 20-12 is being followed by businesses and citizens.

The ordinance requires local businesses within the city limits to post signage in all entry ways stating masks or face coverings are required.  The ordinance reads: "All businesses, commercial entities, and/or other building or structure open to the public who accept visitors/customers shall post conspicuous signs at all entrances indicating employees, customers, users, and visitors must wear face coverings pursuant to this ordinance to be admitted into the premises. The City Manager shall direct the development of a uniform sign meeting this requirement and distribute, or make available, the required signage to the building managers/owners."

Along with that all citizens must wear a mask while in indoor public areas within the city limits. The ordnance reads: "Every person in the City of Lawton shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth and shall be worn consistent with CDC guidelines when inside a commercial entity or other building, structure or space open to the public, or public transit; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:"

a. any person younger than 6 years of age;
b. any person with a medical condition or disability for which a qualified physician has documented prevents said person from wearing a face covering, however, those excused from wearing a face covering should consider wearing a face shield;
c. any person who is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
d. any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
e. any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care or dental service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary;
f. any person who is in a personal office, or similarly private space while other persons are not present;
g. private homes;
h. any person while giving a speech or independent performance, whether for an audience or a broadcast; performing groups shall be required to adhere to all covering CDC guidelines;
i. any person performing work in which face coverings present or exacerbates a hazard;
j. educational institutions that have adopted a plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that includes physical distancing mandates and/or face covering mandates as appropriate for the specific institutional environment;
k. persons who care for, or interact with, a person who is hearing impaired and relies on lip reading to communicate;
l. private lodging rooms in places of public accommodation;
m. offices and workplaces that are not open to the public and where social distancing between employees and other occupants can be and is consistently maintained during hours of operation.

During random compliance checks Lawton Police Department can issue either a verbal warning or citation to individuals and businesses that are in violation of the mask mandate. "A person in first-time violation of the face covering requirement in this ordinance shall receive a verbal or written warning, and if subsequently violating this ordinance, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor offense, receive a citation for such violation, and, upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), excluding costs. In addition, the City may pursue any other legal remedy to obtain compliance." Click here to see the entire City of Lawton face mask ordinance 20-12. The official press release from the City of Lawton about the compliance checks is below:

www