Alachua County has released Emergency Order 21-13. It will be discussed at tomorrow’s (March 23, 2021) County Commission meeting. Our most recent Emergency Order dealing with responses to the pandemic was EO 20-50 issued last Fall. EO 21-13 reflects the current state of the pandemic, particularly the advent of mass vaccinations.
There are two important new provisions in the “Therefore it is ordered” section:
1. The County is relaxing the restrictions on group gatherings to align EO 21-13 with the CDC Guideline, which states:
Fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
The language in EO 20-13, paragraph 3, item g. reads:
To the extent that such gatherings are composed of those who have been fully vaccinated, and other individuals approved by the CDC to gather with the fully vaccinated, this section does not apply to such a gathering.
2. EO 21-13 now sets specific dates for the County Commission to both review the Order and for the Order to expire. The new language in paragraph 5 reads:
This Order shall be effective upon filing with the Clerk of the Court and will stay in effect until May 12, 2021, or until Alachua County no longer has a local state of emergency. This expiration date does not do away with any requirement that the local state of emergency must be extended in seven-day increments as required by Section 252.38, Fla. Stat. Further, the Board intends to review this Order periodically, but no later than its regularly scheduled meeting of April 13, to address the status of vaccinations and consider if this Order should be continued at that time.
Depending on the State of Emergency Order and of COVID-19 conditions in the community at the time of the expiration, the Commission can choose to extend EO 20-13.