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Marion County Sheriff walks back small part of face mask ban

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 3:30 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - After some backlash the Marion County Sheriff is walking back a small part of his face mask ban.

In a new statement on Friday, Sheriff Billy Woods released a statement saying visitors will be required to remove the mask for security cameras, however, they will be allowed to put it back on if they want to.

Earlier this week, Woods made headlines when he issued a “no mask” order for deputies and office visitors. Woods sent out an email Tuesday to his staff informing them of the new policy, writing, “this is no longer a debate nor is it up for discussion.”

There are exceptions to the rule, like having to wear masks at the county courthouse, the jail, at public and private schools that require masks, hospitals, and when deputies are responding to a nursing home, an address where there is a known COVID-19 alert, or on a call that involves a high risk elderly person. Once the action that required the mask is completed, the mask are to be removed immediately.

Sheriff Woods added that if any of his staff are confronted by someone that takes issue with them not wearing a mask, they are to respond, “I am not required to wear a mask nor will I, per the Order of the Sheriff” before walking away.

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