The City Commission voted Thursday to require residents and visitors wear masks in public.
(DeLand, FL) - The City Commission voted Thursday torequire residents and visitors wear masks in inddor spaces or when social distancing is not possible.
The Commission voted to approve the measure effective immediately. Those in violation of the ordinance could be subject to a fine through a civil citation.A first offense would be punishable by a $25, $50 for a second offense and $100 for every offense thereafter.
“As cases continue to rise in DeLand at an alarming rate, the City Commission felt compelled to take additional steps to fight the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” said Mayor Bob Apgar.
While 405 cases have been reported as of July 2 in DeLand since the pandemic began, about 75 percent of those cases have been recorded in the past 14 days.
Under the ordinance, businesses will also be required to provide notice of the city’s mask measure, which is provided on the city’s website.
There are exceptions to the ordinance:
- A child under the age of two.
- Persons who have trouble breathing due to a chronic pre-existing condition or individuals with a documented or demonstrable medical problem. It is the intent of this provision that those individuals who cannot tolerate a facial covering for a medical, sensory or any other condition which makes it difficult for them to utilize a face covering and function in public are not required wear one.
- Public safety, fire, and other life safety and health care personnel, as their personal protective equipment requirements will be governed by their respective agencies.
- Persons exercising while observing at least 6 feet of distancing from another person.
- Restaurant and bar patrons while eating or drinking. It is the intent of this provision that a face covering will be worn while traversing a business establishment for ingress and egress, to use the restroom facilities, and while otherwise standing when persons are unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distancing.
- Business owners, managers, and employees who are in an area of a business establishment that is not open to customers, patrons, or the public, provided that 6 feet of distance exists between persons. This exception does not apply to employees who are present in the kitchen or other food and beverage preparation area of a business establishment.
- Medical, dental or other health care facilities or offices, as mask wearing in those facilities will be regulated pursuant to guidance specifically directed to those particular facilities.
- Persons who are separated from any other person by means of barriers such as plastic face shields, plastic or glass barriers, or other devices that effectively prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
- A person in a lodging establishment who is inside of the lodging unit, including but not limited to, a hotel room, motel room, vacation rental unit, timeshare unit, or similar unit.
- Any person in a school, regardless of whether public or private, as mask wearing in schools will be regulated by the schools.
“I have always maintained that wearing a mask in public is about protecting others around us. It is however, the city’s responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of our own citizens. Personally, I have been increasingly disappointed in the voluntary compliance with masking up as have a great number of our constituents,” Apgar said.
The city will continue to participate in the Step Up Volusia campaign to stress to people that wearing masks is not a substitute for other practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wearing a mask, vigilantly washing hands and practice social distancing when possible are recommended as the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information on that initiative, people may visit stepupvolusia.org
“I understand there will be people upset with our decision but sometimes we need to focus on the greater good which in this case is being able to return as soon as possible to the normal life that we enjoyed in DeLand before the pandemic began spreading across Florida.
More has been asked of us at a greater cost. Washing your hands, practicing social distancing and wearing a mask are simple things we can do for our family,friends and neighbors. I am confident we will get through this but it will take us being united to do so.”
For questions about the ordinance and/or to report potential violations, please call 386-626-7112.