In a vote this Tuesday, a county in Florida is mandating that anyone visiting indoor areas must wear a mask.
Palm Beach County commissioners voted 7-0 to require masks in public indoor spaces as they faced down a crowd of people who weren’t, for the most part, wearing masks.
There is a large group of ppl outside the Palm Beach County Commission meeting protesting against a mask mandate in the county. Commissioners are expected to vote on the mandate this morning. @WPTV pic.twitter.com/yHPVWOVVXv
— Ryan Hughes (@HughesWPTV) June 23, 2020
While people won’t be required to wear masks outdoors, they will be required to wear masks in places like grocery stores and restaurants, The Palm Beach Post reports.
“I think this is going to be the most effective pivot point in … suppressing the spread of the coronavirus,” County Mayor Dave Kerner said of the vote. “We need to see how this works first before we go deeper into our economy reopening.”
The order will likely become official on Wednesday. The commissioners also debated whether to set an automatic expiration date and gave the county administrator the power to rescind the order, recognizing that any commissioner can bring the order up for reconsideration at any time.
Education will be offered for anyone caught not wearing a mask, but that may also be followed up with civil penalties of up to $500.
“Our goal is not to arrest citizens. It’s not to necessarily fine citizens. It’s to encourage citizens and help them help us protect all of us to keep our county moving forward, to keep our businesses open, to keep our recreational activities going forward,” said County Administrator Verdenia Baker. “It’s a matter of educating, putting the information out and knowing we’re protecting each other.”
When the vote was handed down, it was met with an angry outburst from people in the room.
Palm Beach County Commissioners unanimously support mandating masks. This is the response pic.twitter.com/VUf0ZaWOBB
— Hannah Morse 🌅 (@mannahhorse) June 23, 2020
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