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Workers, customers in close contact required to wear face masks in Orange County

Executive order requires employees and patrons to wear face masks if they are within 6 feet

A food server wearing a protective face mask waits on customers at the Parkshore Grill restaurant Monday, May 4, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Several restaurants are reopening with a 25% capacity as part of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' plan to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
A food server wearing a protective face mask waits on customers at the Parkshore Grill restaurant Monday, May 4, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Several restaurants are reopening with a 25% capacity as part of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' plan to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Face masks or coverings are not required in Orange County for everyone but under Mayor Jerry Demings executive order workers will be required to wear if they cannot maintain six feet from customers.

Demings issued an executive order Friday to begin a multi-phased reopening of Orange County amid the coronavirus pandemic. The order includes standards for businesses and health safety precautions for the community as a whole.

Part of the order includes this line, “Both employees and patrons of businesses that require employees and patrons to be within six (6) feet must wear a face mask or covering, unless the wearing of the patron’s face mask or covering would impede the patron’s service, in which case only the service provider must wear a face mask or covering.”

What does that mean? If you provide a service or seek a service that requires you to be less than six feet from another person you should wear a mask. If for any reason the customer can’t wear a mask the service provider should continue to wear one.

Dr. Raul Pino, the Orange County Health officer with the Florida Department of Health, said this could include restaurant servers waiting on diners. Diners are eating so won’t have a mask on but an employee at the business can continue to wear one.

“It’s critically important to have people masked especially in the condition where you cannot hold six feet distance or when there is no barrier between two people,” Pino said.

What it does not mean is that everyone in Orange County must wear a face covering in public. However, the Centers for Disease Control recommends wearing a face mask when possible in public.

Above all, Pino said, its important to wash your hands. Soap is the best defense against the coronavirus because the virus is heavy in proteins and antibacterial soap dissolves those fast. It’s also important to clean surfaces frequently because the virus droplets are heavy and they drop fast onto surfaces.


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