In Pasco County, people are required to wear masks only when indoors where social distancing is not possible. The ruling applies to both businesses as well as government facilities alike, and businesses are responsible for making sure that the mask order is followed. In Pasco County, any business that violates this mask order can be fined as much as $250. Interestingly, the county’s mask order also prohibits the use of facial masks for the purpose of concealing an individual’s identity. The mask order excludes children under the age of two, people who are maintaining social distancing, and those for whom wearing a mask would affect their health.
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Pasco County Order Requiring Face Coverings Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to wear a face covering everywhere I go?
Everyone has to wear a face covering while in most indoor public places within Pasco County, although the Executive Order provides several exemptions. An Amended Order provides an exemption for children attending formal day care or childcare programs. *Please note, it’s up to individual businesses to decide how to implement the order as it pertains to their specific line of business.
What places and activities are exempt from the face covering requirement?
You can participate in the following activities without wearing a face covering:
✓ Attending or participating in religious rituals, such as various forms of singing, provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
✓ Exercising while social distancing, including working out at a gym.
✓ Engaging in indoor sporting activities, provided the facility has its own health and safety plan consistent with the county’s order.
The order also does not apply if you are strictly adhering to social distancing guidelines and there are 10 or fewer people in the same location who are also maintaining social distancing.
I have a medical issue that affects my ability to wear a face covering. What should I do?
If you have a medical issue that prevents you from wearing a face covering, you are not required to wear one, although you might consider other forms of protection such as a face shield.
What about people who are deaf or hard of hearing?
The county’s order does not apply in any situation that conflicts with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including any instance where a person needs to see someone else’s mouth in order to communicate.
What about schools, judicial centers and places of worship?
Those facilities are exempt; however, entities such as schools, courthouses, city halls and churches are strongly encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public based on their respective needs, and many already have. It is recommended you check before going to any of those locations, so you are aware of any specific requirements.
Are children required to wear a face covering?
Anyone under the age of two 2, and children in formal daycare programs, are not required to wear a face covering.
What about daycare providers?
Daycare facility staff are required to wear face coverings unless they meet one of the exemptions listed in the county’s order. Children attending formal day care or childcare programs are not required to wear a face covering, so long as those facilities have a health and safety plan in place consistent with the county’s executive order.
I don’t have a face covering. Where can I get one?
Free face coverings are available at several locations throughout Pasco County. For a complete list, visit: bit.ly/2WTPv6B or call Pasco Customer Service at 727.847.2411. *Please note there is a one face covering per person limit. Small businesses can arrange to pick up as many as 500 coverings, by calling Pasco Emergency Management at 727.847.8137.
You can also make your own face covering from a piece of clothing or fabric. Learn how here: bit.ly/2YlSsgp
Do I have to bring my face covering when going out to dinner or for drinks at a restaurant or bar?
Yes, you must wear a face covering when visiting bars and restaurant, except when you’re eating or drinking. In accordance with Governor Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-139, and Centers For Disease Control and Prevention Considerations for Bars and Restaurants you’re also asked to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from other parties.
Will restaurant and bar employees be required to wear face coverings?
Yes, all employees preparing or serving food or drinks, or having customer contact, must wear a face covering indoors.
Can I stand at the bar and get served?
No. As outlined in Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-139, staff can only serve customers who are seated. This will help maintain social distancing and prevent standing groups from gathering without the proper distancing.
Are employees in the Public Safety Sector required to wear face coverings? Personal protective equipment requirements for all public safety, fire rescue, and other life-safety and health care personnel, will be governed by their respective agencies.
Where can I get a face coverings sign to display in my business?