TAMPA, Fla. — Florida saw its highest spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases with 5,508 on Wednesday.
The worrisome trend of recent spikes has county leaders jumping into action to try and help combat further spread of COVID-19. Despite encouraging everyone to wear a mask, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will leave it up to local governments to decide and not issue a statewide order on wearing a face covering.
Pinellas County commissioners said not wearing a mask would be a "non-criminal violation," meaning you could get a warning, a citation with a fine from $100-500 and if there are repeated violations, then a misdemeanor arrest.
The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group released a similar message, specifically writing, "business operators are responsible for ensuring compliance." The business owners are able to deny a person from coming in if they're not wearing a mask.
Pasco County leaders declared the responsibility to enforce the new mask mandate also falls on business owners. If they don't enforce these rules in their businesses they could face a fine of up to $250.
Later in the day on Wednesday, Manatee County commissioners approved a statement endorsing recommendations from state Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, who urged Floridians to wear a mask when social distancing isn't possible.
The few exceptions being kids under the age of 2 and if masks make a health issue worse from wearing one.
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