Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Miami-Dade Issue Face Mask Orders

The Associated Press has found that the critical shortage of testing swabs, protective masks, surgical gowns and hand sanitizer can be tied to a sudden drop in imports of medical supplies. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

THURSDAY 8:30 P.M. UPDATE:

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez signed an emergency order late Thursday which requires people throughout that county to wear masks “in situations where it is difficult to attain social distancing.”

The mandate, which goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, states that masks must be worn by those working in or visiting the following:

-Grocery Stores

-Restaurants

-Pharmacies

-Construction Sites

-Public Transit Vehicles

-Vehicles For Hire

The mayor’s order includes a link to a CDC page that explains how to make a homemade cloth covering. It also has options for those that can and cannot sew. Click here to learn how to make one.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

Two cities in south Palm Beach County announced Thursday afternoon that they are recommending their residents and visitors wear face masks in public, in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Boca Raton and Delray Beach took the precautionary steps within hours of each other.

The actions come after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines this week and recommended that people wear “cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

The Boca Raton executive order adds that people should not use surgical masks or N95-rated masks, which are “critical supplies for health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life and safety activities.”

Chrissy Gibson, the communications and marketing manager Boca Raton, says if people defy an emergency order with a mandate, authorities could issue a “notice to appear” in court.

If a judge determines the person was violating the order intentionally, the individual could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, Gibson adds.

However, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer later clarified that there are no plans at this time to issue citations to anyone who does not follow the recommendations.

Other municipalities in South Florida, particularly in hard-hit Miami-Dade County, are now requiring everyone to wear face coverings inside businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants.

Within Palm Beach County, Delray Beach and Boca Raton are among the municipalities with the most COVID-19 cases.

Boca Raton’s order goes into effect Friday at midnight, while Delray Beach has asked its residents and visitors to begin the practice on Saturday, April 11.

 

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