Cover your face or face fine, jail time in Osceola County
Exceptions include children under 2, people exercising
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – UPDATE: Osceola County officials announced Monday afternoon that they will no longer be punishing those who go out in public without a face mask. Read more here.
Original story below:
For the few people walking around downtown Kissimmee early Monday, most were abiding by Osceola County’s new mandate requiring face coverings to be worn while in public.
The emergency order was announced Friday by officials who said the measure can help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Millie Diaz, who was wearing a mask while walking her dogs, said she supports the mandate.
“I think that everybody should be wearing it,” Diaz said. “(It’s) for the safety of everybody, for their health.”
The new requirement went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will continue until officials deem face coverings are no longer needed.
Officials urged the public to not buy N95 masks or PPE but instead use a scarf, bandana or T-shirt.
According to Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson, if someone is found not following the guideline, the offender can face up to a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.
“It is a misdemeanor of the second degree to violate this order and we just want to make sure that you’re aware of that because information is power,” Gibson said.
During a county commission meeting Monday, officials spoke about using the new rule to inform the public, rather than resorting to a fine or arrest.
The following exceptions are allowed for not wearing a mask:
- Anyone under the age of 2
- A person who has an existing health condition and a face covering would cause impairment to them
- Person working in a profession where the use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession
- Person working in a profession and do not have any face-to-face interactions with the public
- Anyone exercising while observing social distancing
Osceola County still has a curfew in place, daily from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., until further notice.
As of Friday morning, Osceola County had 300 positive cases of the coronavirus.
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