Cornell sends Chair Letter to UF, Santa Fe College
September 9, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Alachua County Commission Chair Ken Cornell has sent a Chair Letter to the presidents of the University of Florida (UF) and Santa Fe College (SF), asking them to require face masks on their properties. He wrote, “Our understanding is that your institutions are recommending, as opposed to requiring, that all persons wear masks in indoor locations.”
UF and SF are currently specifically exempted from the County’s emergency order that requires masks in all indoor locations except private homes. However, the County Attorney “was asked to opine on whether [the County] could extend the order to impose these requirements on University and College properties. Her analysis is that, while your state governing bodies (Board of Governors and Board of Education, respectively) could have regulated in this area, to date they have chosen not to.”
Cornell’s letter warns that if the university and college do not start requiring masks, “the County could remove properties in State University and College Systems from its exemption, thus applying the requirement to these properties.” He asks them to “join the County, the School Board, the City of Gainesville, and our local businesses in instituting the common-sense safety measures spelled out in the County’s Short-Term Emergency Order… It simply requires masking indoors. We owe it to our healthcare professionals, residents, students, employees, and especially the most vulnerable in our community to do what we can to stem the tide of this Delta variant surge.”
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