New Smyrna Beach City Commission votes to require face masks in public as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Resolution passed 3 - 2

Volusia County dodges face mask mandate, allows beaches to remain open despite COVID-19 spike

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – New Smyrna Beach city commissioners voted 3-2 Wednesday to mandate the wearing of face coverings in public.

Resolution No. 23-20 will require residents and visitors to wear face coverings in public, but will not be enforced by police nor carry any penalties for non-compliance.

[READ MORE: These Central Florida counties have face covering requirements]

According to a news release, the resolution also encourages businesses to prohibit entry of any persons not wearing a face covering except for those:

  • Under the age of two years
  • Observing social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines
  • For whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
  • Working in a business or profession who do not have interactions with others, maintain social distancing from others, or where use of a face covering would prevent them from performing the duties of the business or profession
  • Exercising while maintaining social distancing
  • Eating or drinking
  • Hearing-impaired who needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering to communicate

“The resolution takes effect immediately and shall automatically expire upon termination of the city’s emergency declaration, adopted on Mar. 17, 2020,” officials said in a news release. “In its original form, the resolution’s language “encouraged” the use of face coverings but then changed to “mandate” at the request of commissioners to emphasize how important they feel the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is to New Smyrna Beach residents and visitors.”

As of noon Wednesday, confirmed cases in Florida numbered 156,288 with 6,563 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. To date, there have been 45 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19.

On Wednesday morning, the Florida Department of Health reported a total of 2,219 cases of COVID-19 in Volusia County since the virus was first detected in the state on March 1, as well as 58 deaths and 225 hospitalizations.

About the Author:

Erin began her career at News 6 as an assignment editor, then became a show producer. She is now a digital storyteller as part of the Click Orlando team.