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Boca Raton issues emergency order, recommending people wear face coverings in public

Mayor says no plans to issue citations
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Posted at 12:47 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 17:35:22-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Boca Raton is urging people to wear face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

According to a new executive order issued on Thursday, "every person working, living, visiting, or doing business in the city of Boca Raton is encouraged to wear a cloth facial covering consistent with the current CDC guidelines while in any public place."

It comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines and recommended that you wear "cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."

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Keep in mind, the emergency order in Boca Raton is just a recommendation to wear a face covering in public, not a mandate.

The order said people should not use surgical masks or N95-rated masks, which are "critical supplies for health care workers, police, fire, emergency management, or other persons engaged in life and safety activities."

Chrissy Gibson, the communications and marketing manager for the city, said if you defy an emergency order with a mandate, authorities could issue you a "notice to appear" in court.

If a judge determines you were violating the order intentionally, you could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, Gibson said.

Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer later clarified there are no plans at this time to issue citations to anyone who doesn't follow the recommendations.

Other municipalities in South Florida like Miami Beach and Key West are now requiring everyone to wear face coverings inside businesses like grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants.

The emergency order in Boca Raton goes into effect right away.

READ EMERGENCY ORDER: