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5 things to know about Palm Beach County's mask mandate

Emergency order lays out requirements, exemptions
Woman wears mask while walking in Palm Beach
Posted at 9:15 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 21:59:05-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — After Palm Beach County commissioners voted unanimously to mandate masks in public places, the county's order outlines when it takes effect, for how long and what exemptions are in place.

Emergency Order No. 12, dated Wednesday, lays out the specifics about the new county directive to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


Here are five things to know about the mask mandate:

1) The mask requirement takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. It will remain in effect for one month but can be terminated at any time by county commissioners.

Palm Beach County commissioners vote to require masks in public, June 23, 2020
Palm Beach County commissioners vote 7-0 in favor of requiring masks in public places, June 23, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

2) Facial coverings are required at all county and municipal government buildings, including libraries, as well as businesses, stores, hotels and gyms. They must also be worn in public places where social distancing "is not possible or not being practiced." Public places include any outdoor areas that are open and regularly accessible, including common areas within private communities accessible to more than one household.

Masks are also required "when entering, riding or exiting" any Palm Tran bus or county vehicle. They must also be worn when using ride-share transportation services like Uber and Lyft.

RELATED: Palm Beach County restaurants support mask mandate

3) Children under the age of 2, people with certain health conditions such as asthma, or those who are exercising, are exempt from the mask requirement. People are not required to wear masks "for the shortest practical period of time" while eating or drinking at restaurants or "receiving a facial grooming or treatment." The exemptions also include anyone "for whom wearing a facial covering conflicts with their religious beliefs or practices."

4) Facial coverings are defined as anything that "snugly covers the nose and mouth, whether store bought or homemade," mask or clothing covering, which can include a scarf, bandanna, handkerchief or similar cloth covering "which is secured in place."

Couple wears mask while walking along Worth Avenue
Robin Pickett, left, and Peggy Mejia, right, loosely wear protective face masks as they walk along Worth Avenue during the new coronavirus pandemic, Monday, May 11, 2020, in Palm Beach, Fla.

5) Violators could be subject to a $250 fine. Each addition fine will increase to $500. "Compliance and enforcement processes shall include the provision of a warning and opportunity to correct before citations resulting in fines are issued."