Orange County mayor mandates wearing face masks in public

Anyone living, working or visiting Orange County must wear a mask in public beginning Saturday, June 20.

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  • | 5:12 p.m. June 18, 2020
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Beginning Saturday, June 20, Orange County residents and visitors will be required to wear face masks in public.

During a press conference Thursday, June 18, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said wearing masks in public will be mandatory countywide until further notice.

The announcement comes the same day Florida saw a record-breaking 3,200 new coronavirus cases across the state.

All businesses, Demings said, are encouraged to prohibit entry of any person who is not wearing a face covering. At bars and restaurants, people must wear masks upon entering and when not eating or drinking. 

"We know that in the cases of bars and restaurants, people have to eat and take their masks off," Demings said. "The expectation is that employees will continuously wear their masks."

In order to provide more access to face coverings and other personal protective equipment in conjunction with the mandate, Demings said the county will once again provide free PPE to small businesses with 40 or fewer employees.

That distribution will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 24 through 26 at three pick-up locations around the county, including at West Orange Park on Windermere Road. Online appointments are required, and claimants must bring a printout of the confirmation ticket or show verification email. 

The county will provide up to 10,000 businesses with 200 disposable masks, as well as a packet of reusable cloth masks and hand sanitizers. For more information or to make an appointment, click here.

"We do want compliance; we don't want to enact orders that people don't have the ability to follow," Demings said. "We're certainly not trying to create an environment where we want law enforcement to get into enforcing what I call maybe minor violations of rules. That's not our goal here. Our goal is to gain voluntary compliance. Hopefully, the citizens understand this makes sense, what we're doing here."