DELAND, Fla. – City officials in DeLand approved a mask mandate and Ormond Beach mayor issued a proclamation Thursday becoming the third and fourth cities in Volusia County to tell their residents to wear face coverings.
DeLand City Commissioners held an emergency ordinance meeting on Thursday where several residents showed up to voice their concerns. The mandate was approved 4 to 1.
“It’s just about people’s health. We’re trying to protect the general public,” DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar said ahead of the vote.
Apgar spoke with News 6 before the meeting about the possible mask mandate as DeLand now has the second most COVID-19 cases in Volusia County with 405 people testing positive, according to the state health department.
According to the emergency ordinance, an individual in a business establishment must wear a face covering while in that business establishment. The requirement does not apply to children under 2 years old or people with health conditions that would be impaired by a face mask.
“What it doesn’t do is say what you have to do in your car or what you have to do outdoors. It says within business establishments, you have to wear a mask,” said Apgar.
He also said businesses would be required to post signs alerting people they need to wear masks. If someone fails to comply, they could be slapped with a fine.
“Starting at $25, and going to $50 and then to $100 as I recall the numbers. All of us know that there’s going to be enforcement issues with anything of this nature. I think if there’s no penalty involved, personally speaking, then it’s not really a mandate,” Apga said.
The approved DeLand ordinance goes into effect on Friday.
“If we improve performance by 15 to 25 percent, that’s just more of the protection that we provided to other people,” Apgar said.
In Ormond Beach, city Mayor Bill Partington issued a proclamation Thursday evening that proclaims wearing a face mask is a necessity when people cannot social distance.
The City of New Smyrna Beach passed its mask ordinance on Wednesday but without penalties for non compliance. The City of Daytona Beach issues warnings and will soon discuss with the police department about possible fines or jail time if people refuse to follow the mandate.
They say residents will need to wear a mask in public, businesses will be encouraged to ban people without masks and the rule won’t apply for those who can be socially distant.
Meanwhile in Brevard County, Titusville leaders are still discussing the possibility of issuing a mask order. A city council meeting to consider mandatory mask legislation began at 5:30 p.m.
The topic has brought tension in other parts of Central Florida. In Brevard County, masks are not mandatory, although they are strongly recommended.
Seminole County’s mask mandate went into effect Wednesday.
In Volusia County, officials agreed they want people to voluntarily wear a mask.
Orange and Osceola counties are currently mandating masks.