Wearing face coverings remains mandatory for Osceola County residents, even though action by Gov. Ron DeSantis last month removed any individual fines or penalties associated with COVID-19.
Commissioners on Monday unanimously approved an update of the county’s order so that it aligned with the governor’s mandate. The emergency ordinance had been in place since July 20 and states that “every person working, living, visiting, or doing business in Osceola County is required to wear a cloth facial covering consistent with the current CDC guidelines while in any public place.”
Monday’s update includes a new exception for those participating in sporting events so that “persons actively engaged in competition on the field of play during organized sports events” do not have to wear a face covering.
“We wanted to be able to offer reasonable accommodation to athletes who are competing in Osceola County to bring some semblance of normality to sporting events,” said Osceola Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “However, face coverings should be used while on the bench or on the sidelines -- it is very important that people continue to wear face coverings when in public as a way to slow the spread of the disease. Cloth face coverings are relatively inexpensive and readily available, or can be made from household items. By now the consequences of not wearing a face covering should be obvious, so for the sake of your health and the health of everyone around you, wear a face covering.”
Existing exemptions include:
• People under the age of 2 years
• People for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition.
• Persons working in a profession who do not have any face-to- face interactions with the public.
• Persons working in a profession where use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession.
• Persons exercising, while observing social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines.
A previous April 1 order from the Emergency Policy Group that mandated face coverings without a penalty was also rescinded by Monday’s Board action.