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St. Lucie County commissioners could remove mask mandate soon

'I think it's time to alleviate the mask mandate,' commissioner says
Posted at 5:33 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 20:50:19-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The days of a mask mandate in St. Lucie County appear to be numbered. Commissioners are looking to drop it in the coming weeks.

Clint Sperber, the administrator for the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County, presented charts to county commissioners Tuesday showing declining numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

"The vaccine is here," Sperber said. "It's going to continue to come and that's a good sign."

His presentation led Commissioner Cathy Townsend to propose the elimination of a mask mandate.

"I'm interested in bringing back the mask mandate before this board," she said. "I think it's time to alleviate the mask mandate."

St. Lucie is the only Treasure Coast county that still has a mandatory mask mandate. But perhaps not for much longer.

County Administrator Howard Tipton said they've been open for business during the pandemic.

"We've been working over these months to get to this point, so it's an exciting time to think that we're actually here," Tipton said.

Commission Chair Chris Dzadovsky, who said his experience with COVID-19 was 10 days of hell, agreed it was time to move forward but was hoping to delay a hearing until the spring break crowds have gone.

But Townsend said after spring break, it's Memorial Day and then the Fourth of July.

"I'm not here to dictate to people what to do with their lives," she said. "The vaccine is here. We need to move forward."

The mask mandate will be put on the county agenda April 6.