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St. Lucie County issues new mask mandate

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Lebanon
A girl wears a mask to help protect herself from the new coronavirus, walks as the sun sets (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Authorities in St. Lucie County have issued a mandate requiring the public to wear face coverings while in public places.

The emergency order was established Monday after health officials identified 3,061 cases of COVID-19 in the area.

“Our numbers have continually increased,” said Health Director for St. Lucie County Clint Spreber.  “Protection increases when all people are wearing face coverings.”

Under the order, those in the area are required to wear face coverings in all public buildings and businesses, as well as in outdoor areas when social distancing cannot be observed.

Face mask must also be worn at indoor and outdoor restaurants at all times except for when “actively consuming food and beverages.”

The mandate does not apply to children under the age of two or to those with severe medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask.

The mandate will remain in place for the next 30 days. Those who do not obey the order will be subjected to fines up to $125.