Commissioners decide against mandatory face masks in Collier

Around the nation, protective face masks have become mandatory in different states. But not for Florida, with positive cases of COVID-19 increasing in record numbers over the past 10 days. Despite the numbers, Governor Ron DeSantis has continued to encourage reopening of the state, leaving restrictions in the hands of local government.

However, some Florida counties are passing orders requiring facial coverings to be worn in public places. Palm Beach County Commissioners voted 7-0 on Tuesday, June 23, to require all residents and visitors to wear a mask when in public buildings. An executive order was also signed in Orange County last week, that requires anyone in public to wear a mask.

Immokalee has become one of the nation’s fastest growing hotspots for the virus, yet Collier County Commissioners decided they would not make wearing masks mandatory in public.

“I don’t believe we should be asking our residents to wear masks, but how about our employees and certain businesses?” said Collier Commissioner Burt Saunders. They discussed the possibility of having businesses implemented mandatory facial coverings.

Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published information regarding the importance of wearing facial coverings and their effectiveness against spreading coronavirus. Both entities have urged citizens to wear masks whenever out in public, along with staying six feet apart from others.

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