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Alachua County clarifies mask ordinance after Governor moves state to Phase 3

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 11:58 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Alachua County is clarifying their mask ordinance after Gov. Ron DeSantis moved the state to Phase three of reopening.

County officials say it is a misconception that the governor’s most recent order prevents local governments from enforcing mask wearing. The order prohibits fining people who do not comply with COVID-19 restrictions, but does not prevent mask or other health related mandates.

In Alachua County masks are still required and businesses must display “mask required” signs.

So far the county has issued no citations or fines.

“It has been the extraordinary effort and cooperation of our citizens and businesses that have made our community a safer place to be,” said the county in a press release.

Alachua County saw the largest increase of COVID-19 cases in North Central Florida since Monday. The county added 66 new cases.

“We are anticipating the possibility of a surge in positive cases as a result of the Governor removing restrictions to occupancy limits in bars and taking away our ability to close establishments that are endangering our community,” the county said in the release.

“The vast majority of health organizations, scientists, and healthcare professionals, agree that masking is an essential component of the strategy to defeat this pandemic. Please stay diligent. The science that was clear before the Governor’s order remains clear today.”

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