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Alachua County posts FAQs for Amended Emergency Order

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Alachua County has posted FAQs for the First Amendment to Emergency Order 20-21.

Among the FAQs are these (this is only a partial list):

Which businesses are subject to the 1 customer per 500 square feet of covered floor space requirements?

​Retail businesses including hardware stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, grocery stores, and other locations open to the general public that sell their goods at retail or provide services, which have been allowed to open at this time. ​Churches are allowed to have one congregant per 500 square ft.​

When does the order require I use a face covering?

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You are required to use a face covering when you are coming into close contact with individuals outside your household. Persons working in or visiting grocery stores, restaurants, retail facilities, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire (taxis, Uber, Lyft), along with locations where social distancing measures are not possible shall wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC. You are not required to wear a facial covering while you are driving your car or riding a bicycle, engaging in recreational activities outside with social distancing.​

Are there any exemptions to wearing a facial covering?

​Children under six do not need to wear a mask.​ Individuals with legitimate medical conditions such as breathing issues, sensory problems, or similar demonstrable medical issues are exempt from wearing a facial covering. Some of these conditions may result in the individual being more susceptible to the virus.  Also, individuals who show no symptoms are known to have transmitted the virus.  If you claim an exemption you may be asked about the basis for the exemption. This is not a violation of HIPAA or the ADA if the questions are limited to an explanation of why you shouldn’t have to wear a facial covering. You may ask to answer the questions out of the hearing of any other members of the public. You only need to answer the questions if you are seeking an exemption, unless you have medical documentation you can present. 

Do I have to wear a facial covering when I am in a restaurant?

​It would be difficult indeed to wear a facial covering while you are dining out. The order provides an exemption for this. You should be prudent about wearing the mask while you are in a restaurant or dining out because of the increased risk of exposure. You should wear the mask to your table and wear it until you commence your meal and put it back on when you complete your meal.  ​

Must businesses enforce the Order?

Businesses are expected to make sure their employees are using appropriate facial coverings and other methods to protect the employees and public. The business can restrict its customers to those who are following the Order, but the County does not expect them to enforce the requirements of the order. They may ask for the assistance of Law Enforcement or Codes Enforcement.​

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