Skip to main content
East County Tuesday, Sep. 29, 2020 1 year ago

Manatee County repeals mask resolution

Commissioners vote 4-3 to revoke mandatory face covering resolution.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

Manatee County commissioners voted 4-3 on Tuesday to revoke the resolution requiring citizens to wear face coverings when they can't socially distance.

They replaced it with a unanimous proclamation that people should continue to wear face coverings when they can't socially distance indoors.

The vote followed Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing an executive order that revoked the ability of local governments to enforce fines and penalties related to face mask requirements.

Commissioners noted that COVID-19 infection rates have dropped significantly and stabilized in Manatee County over the past two months.

"The majority of people wear a mask not because of a mandate but because they know it's the right thing to do," said Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who voted for the repeal, in a release. "It's up to each business to enforce whether people should wear a mask or not." 

Commissioner Betsy Benac said businesses can continue to keep signs in their businesses that require their patrons to wear masks.

Commissioners Baugh, Benac, Priscilla Trace and Stephen Jonsson voted in favor of the repeal. Commissioners Reggie Bellamy, Misty Servia and Carol Whitmore voted to keep the resolution.

The resolution does not apply to Manatee County schools. Face masks still will be required inside county facilities, including the public libraries and busses.

Since Aug. 30, the county hasn't had more than 72 people test positive for COVID-19 on any given day. 


Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.

Related Stories