Osceola County will no longer fine, jail residents for not wearing face masks in public

Face coverings are still mandatory

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla.On the same day a new order requiring residents to wear a face mask in public to stop the spread of coronavirus went into effect, Osceola County announced it would loosen the mandate to remove the possibility of fines and jail time.

The order is still mandatory for anyone grocery shopping, running errands or out in public in Osceola County but those who violate the new rule will no longer risk a $500 fine or up to 60 days in jail.

Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson announced the order on Friday, notifying residents then that it would go into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m.

It’s unclear why Osceola County opted to remove the penalty provision Monday afternoon.

The only people exempted from the mask rule are:

  • Anyone younger than 2
  • Anyone for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
  • Those who work in a profession who do not have any face-to-face interactions with the public
  • Anyone working in a profession where use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession
  • Anyone exercising, while observing social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines

Rather than using N95 or medical masks, residents are urged to use a scarf, bandanna, T-shirt or cloth mask.

There are currently 333 COVID-19 patients in Osceola County, 92 of whom are hospitalized.

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