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Judge rejects challenge to mayor’s Orange County face mask mandate

‘There’s no constitutional right to expose others to a contagious and potentially lethal virus’

Disney updates its mask policy
Disney updates its mask policy

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A circuit judge in Orange County issued a ruling Thursday that declared Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings’ executive order requiring residents to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is constitutional and legal.

Circuit Court Judge Lisa Munyon has rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the mayor’s executive order requiring residents to wear a face mask in public.

“The ruling means the mask mandate is a legal. Masks help to slow the spread of the virus and save lives and these types of lawsuits waste valuable time and resources for local governments,” Demings said Thursday while announcing the judge’s decision.

Residents’ constitutional rights are not violated by being asked to wear a face covering, according to Munyon.

“In other words, there’s no constitutional right to expose others to a contagious and potentially lethal virus, during a declared pandemic by not wearing a face mask,” Demings said. “The safety, health and welfare of all residents continue to be our number one priority here in Orange County.”

The mayor said the reduction in new coronavirus case and the rate of infection “speaks to the common sense” of the mask mandate and the other preventative measures in place, including social distancing and limiting crowds.

Nearly 36,700 people in Orange County have tested positive for the virus since March, according to the Department of Health. Those include 386 people who have died as a result. The county added three new recent fatalities to the death toll on Thursday.