Face Coverings to be Mandatory


From Staff Reports

Beginning June 12 at 5 p.m., it will be mandatory in Orange County to wear a face covering in most public situations.

The county commissioners have approved extending the state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic through Aug. 31, while also now requiring the use of masks or other face coverings until then.

The new requirement “is part of our broader strategy to protect public health and slow the spread of the coronavirus in our community,” said Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart.

“By covering your face when you are out in public, you are helping reduce the risk of infecting those around you. Until there is a vaccine for COVID-19, face coverings are a part of our new normal. We know it will take some time to get used to, but it will help save lives.”

The face covering requirement applies to:

  • All customers, employees and other users of restaurants and grocery and retail stores while they are indoors.
  • All occupants of public transportation vehicles.
  • Anyone in an indoor or outdoor situation where they cannot maintain a 6-foot physical distance from others.

Face coverings will not be required

  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering.
  • For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition.
  • For children under 12 years old.
  • For restaurant customers while they are dining.
  • In private offices.
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers.
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering when obtaining or rendering goods or services.
  • While with family or household members.

“With the recent uptick of positive cases in our state and county it is vitally important for us to remain vigilant in order to flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of this virus,” said commissioners Chair Penny Rich.

“Wearing a face covering, physical distancing and hygiene are critical steps. This is why we are amending the order to require face coverings in any indoor or outdoor situation in which people cannot maintain a safe physical distance.”

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