Palm Beach County to require all residents use masks in public

WEST PALM BEACH — Effective Monday, April 13, everyone in Palm Beach County will be required to wear face masks in public places such as stores and restaurants.

The emergency order states all persons working in, patronizing, or otherwise physically present in grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, construction sites, public transit vehicles, vehicles for hire, and locations where social distancing measures are not possible should wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC. All other persons physically present in any public place in Palm Beach County are strongly urged to wear facial coverings as defined by the CDC.

County Administrator Verdenia Baker stressed the importance of slowing the spread by using facial covers: “Although the order begins early Monday, with the holidays being this weekend and families grocery shopping and getting together, it is advised that everyone who needs to be closer than 6 feet wear face coverings immediately. The number of new cases is going down and the sooner we consistently slow the spread; the sooner life starts to get back to normal.”

A facial covering includes any covering which snugly covers the lower face, nose, and mouth, whether store bought or homemade mask, or clothing covering, including but not limited to, a scarf, bandana, handkerchief or other similar cloth covering and which is secured in place. Examples of compliant homemade facial coverings may be found on the CDC website: CDC Face Coverings . Persons wearing facial coverings should review the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines regarding safely applying, removing, and cleaning facial coverings.

Persons utilizing facial coverings should not procure surgical masks or N95 rated masks, as those are critical supplies for health care workers, law enforcement, fire-rescue, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life and safety activities.

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