PALM BEACH, Fla. — In the town of Palm Beach, a resolution for a local emergency declaration was issued by the chief of police at the direction of the town manager.
The declaration has no teeth. It just brings awareness about the level of COVID-19 transmission right now.
The resolution passed, but not every council member was on board with passing it.
The reason the resolution has no authority is because of Gov. Ron DeSantis' May executive order invalidating all remaining local emergency orders based on COVID-19 emergencies.
"During any emergency, our businesses should be free from government mandates to close and our schools should remain open for in-person instruction for our children," DeSantis said.
But with a rising positivity rate in Palm Beach County, infectious disease specialist Dr. Kleper De Almeida said something has to be done.
"What we are seeing is an increase in the number of admissions day after day for patients with COVID, young patients and older patients," he said.
De Almeida said he's not surprised considering 40% of the population hasn't gotten vaccinated. He strongly recommends getting vaccinated but if not, wear a mask.
"Wearing a mask will prevent you from coming into contact in 2021, just like it did in 2020," he said.
Alexander Ives, who lives in Palm Beach, said, if necessary, he'll wear a mask.
"If that's what we need to do to beat this thing, I'm for it," he said. "Because I don't know if we ever really go back to normal but to get a better working society and economy and everything else like that."
The town council members said the resolution will be in place until Aug. 10, when they meet again and revisit the issue.