JULY 15, 2020 | 7:30 A.M. | ST. LUCIE COUNTY–Effective this morning, the county is requiring the public to wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible, both for indoor and outdoor public settings.
“St. Lucie County has experienced a 200 percent increase in cases and a 72 percent increase in fatalities over a 27-day time frame. Just this past week saw our case count grow by 36 percent and our fatalities by 22 percent,” County Administrator Howard Tipton said.
The emergency order remains in effect through Aug. 15, unless extended. It applies to the county and cities.
Exceptions to the order include:
- Children under the age of six; while under the custody of a licensed childcare facility;
- Those with existing medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a face covering;
- A person needs to communicate with a hearing-impaired person who needs to see the person’s mouth;
- Public health, safety, fire, or other life safety personnel that have personal protective equipment requirements governed by their respective agencies;
- Persons receiving goods and services from a business or establishment for the shortest practical period of time during which the receipt of such goods or services necessarily precludes the wearing of a face covering such as, but not limited to, consuming food or beverages, or receiving dental services, facial grooming, or treatments.;
- Persons in private rooms of a lodging establishment, such as hotel, motel, or vacation rental; however, face coverings must be worn in common areas;
- Those engaged in outdoor work or recreation with appropriate social distancing pursuant to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines in place and being practiced;
- Persons working in a business or establishment who maintain social distancing from another person, except for persons in restaurants and foodservice establishments; and
- Persons for whom wearing a facial covering is subject to a religious objection.
Fines for violating the ordinance are $25 for the first offense; $62.50 for the second offense and $125 for the third offense. Violation of the order is a second-degree misdemeanor offense.