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Manatee County, Florida Mask Mandate
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Manatee County requires individuals to wear masks whenever inside a business. This would also seem to apply to employees of the business as well. The order applies unless there is enough space indoors for people to maintain social distancing of at least six feet. As with most counties, businesses in Manatee can download and print signages from the county website for them to display at their entrances. The signs will act as a reminder to all visitors and staff that the mask order is in effect. Children below the age of six and adults with relevant medical conditions are not required to follow this order.

Also, unlike some other counties, visitors staying inside a hotel or similar type of lodging are not required to wear masks while they’re in the unit that they’ve rented. The local government will review the mask order regularly until such a time that it decides to lift it.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Leon County Requires Face Coverings

When will this requirement take effect?
Thursday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m. Who is required to wear a face covering? Any individual in a business establishment in Leon County must wear a face covering while in that business establishment. A business establishment means a location with a roof overhead under which any business is conducted, goods are made or stored or processed or where services are rendered. The term “business establishment” also includes locations where non-profit, governmental, churches and quasi-governmental entities facilitate public interactions and conduct business.

However, there are exceptions to the face covering requirement.

What are the exceptions to the face covering requirement?
Facial coverings are not required to be worn by the following persons:

  • Persons under the age of six years;
  • Persons who have trouble breathing due to a chronic pre-existing condition or individuals with a documented or demonstrable medical problem. It is the intent of this provision that those individuals who cannot tolerate a facial covering for a medical, sensory or any other condition which makes it difficult for them to utilize a facial covering and function in public are not required to wear one;
  • Persons in their private rooms of a lodging establishment, such as a hotel, motel, or vacation rental—however, face coverings must be worn in all indoor commons areas of said establishment;
  • Persons exercising while observing at least six feet of distancing from another person;
  • Restaurant and bar patrons eating or drinking; • Business owners, managers, and employees who are in an area of a business establishment that is not open to customers, patrons, or the public, provided that six feet of distance exists between persons.

Where are face coverings required?
In a business establishment as defined above.

Does the requirement include all of Leon County?
Yes. The proclamation requiring face coverings is intended to have countywide application. The City of Tallahassee, the State University System, State College System, the State of Florida, or Federal agencies may adopt more stringent rules and procedures.

Is a business required to post that face coverings are required while indoors?
Yes. All businesses must post a notice visible to all customers that face coverings are required while indoors.

What is considered a face covering?
A “Face Covering” is a uniform piece of material that securely covers a person’s nose and mouth and remains in place without the use of one’s hands, whether store-bought or homemade, concurrent with CDC guidelines. Examples and instructions on how to create compliant, homemade face coverings may be found HERE.

What if I don’t have a face covering?
Homemade coverings, bandanas, scarves and neck gaiters are all OK. The CDC has provided simple steps for making a cloth face covering with everyday items from your home that can be found here . A video showing how to make a cloth face covering can be found here .

Cloth face coverings should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Be made of more than one layer of fabric that you can still breathe through
  • Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Cloth face coverings should be washed after each use. It is important to always remove face coverings correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used face covering. Follow the CDC’s guidance on how to properly wash cloth face coverings.

Is Leon County distributing face coverings to residents?
Yes. Starting Wednesday, June 24, Leon County will make thousands of free face coverings available for pickup at all County library locations during regular hours, listed below. Individuals may request one covering and may also pick up one covering for each immediate family member.

  • Main Library (200 West Park Avenue)
  • Dr. B.L. Perry, JR. Branch Library (2817 South Adams Street)
  • Eastside Branch Library (1583 Pedrick Road)
  • Jane G. Sauls Fort Braden Branch Library (16327) Blountstown Highway)
  • Lake Jackson Branch Library (3840 North Monroe Street)
  • Northeast Branch Library (5513 Thomasville Road)
  • Woodville Branch Library (8000 Old Woodville Road)

All County branch libraries are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The County main library is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. These additional masks complement the County’s ongoing efforts to distribute cloth face masks at faith-based organizations in southern Leon County, at the FAMU-Bond COVID-19 testing site at Bragg Memorial Stadium and at FDOH’s mobile testing sites throughout the community.

How well do cloth face coverings work to prevent spread of COVID-19?
Health experts agree that face coverings can be very effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The primary role of the use of face coverings is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing, washing hands, and staying home when ill, but they may be helpful when combined with these primary interventions.

Are face coverings required on mass transit and in rideshares/taxis?
Yes.

Are face coverings required in churches?
Yes, if the service is conducted indoors and under a roof.

How will this order be enforced?
The intent of the requirement is to allow the community to resume normal activities while also preventing the further spread of COVID-19. However, any person violating this face covering requirement may receive a noncriminal infraction. A violation does not authorize the search or arrest of any individual prior to issuing any citation the individual will be asked to comply with the order or be able to explain how they are exempt. The first violation of the requirement is through a fine of $50. The second violation would be a fine of $125. All subsequent violations would be a fine up to $250, and a mandatory court appearance.

What should I do if I see someone without a face covering?
For your own safety, do not confront individuals without face coverings. Stay 6 feet away from people who are not wearing face coverings. If someone is not wearing a face covering, please consider that the individual may have a valid reason, including concerns for their own safety. Others may have breathing problems or health issues you do not know about. People who cannot wear a cloth face covering are not required to show proof of their medical condition nor are they required to name their medical condition.

How long will the face covering requirement remain in effect?
Until repealed.