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There are no COVID-19 mandates in Alachua County

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

After the governor’s Executive Order on May 3 suspended all local COVID-19 mandates on businesses and individuals, Alachua County’s emergency orders immediately became unenforceable. The County said as much at their May 4 meeting:

County Attorney Sylvia Torres briefly reviewed the governor’s order and said the county’s emergency order was “immediately suspended.” She added that the local state of emergency can continue for FEMA reimbursement purposes.

Cornell said he agreed with continuing the state of emergency for funding purposes. “But with regards to the mandatory masking, the signage at the businesses, enforcement of those types of things, I think those have been suspended indefinitely.” Torres added that the gathering restriction is also suspended.

Cornell then signed the 59th extension of Alachua County’s Emergency Order on May 10, which deleted all COVID-19 restrictions and mandates that were present in the previous version of the order. Cornell also stated in yesterday’s Alachua County Commission meeting, “I extended the emergency order yesterday basically for FEMA purposes. I talked to the attorney, and unless the board desires us to continue that, we will probably let this expire and not renew it next week unless there is a financial reason to do so, since the governor has suspended our previous emergency orders.”

The County has not made public announcements about the changes, but it is clear that businesses no longer have to post signs about wearing masks or make their employees wear masks. Penalties on individuals had already been suspended since the governor’s September 26 order. 

  • No “Goebbels” Sexton, the Director of Communications, shouting from on high? If that isn’t a clear indication of where his mouth is I don’t know what is.

    Really surprised the county attorney isn’t still looking for a way to circumvent the order. Give her office some time…

  • Very good news! I’m hopeful tgat more businesses will take down their mask signs.

    I also hope public health messaging will return to voluntary messages that are good for our health like nutrition and moderate exercise, as ways to reduce susceptibility to both respiratory viruses and chronic diseases.

  • Now that the CDC has said fully vaccinated people can go maskless indoors (except in crowded locations) will the Alachua County Commission and Gainesville City Commissions finally give up on their “unofficial” mask mandates? Asking for a friend. 😉

    • I think they will have to add an agenda item to discuss that. The “science” they decide to follow that day will also carry heavy weight in any thought processing that may or may not occur.

      That’s what my friend told me anyway.😂

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