Pensacola city council votes to keep mayor’s mask requirement in place

Coronavirus

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The city council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to continue with Mayor Grover Robinson’s order to require a face covering inside businesses within city limits.

There were 13 public comments made over the phone during the meeting. Some of them were in support of the mandate.

“This is not an issue of individual liberty,” one caller said. “The actions of one affects the well being many. My mask protects you and your mask protects me.”

Others like Stan McDaniels disagree.

“I think it’s wrong,” McDaniels said. “I think we should be able to make our own decisions knowing the risks.”

McDaniels was standing along Main Street outside city hall during the meeting as he protested the mask mandate. One side of his sign read “Mask Mandate is Unlawful” and the other side read “Time To Open America.”

“I think there’s no reason we can’t decide for ourselves whether or not we want to wear a mask,” he said.

This decision comes as hospitalizations for COVID-19 are up to 70 in Escambia County. The highest number of hospitalizations in April was 30. This statistic played a role in the mayor’s decision.

One caller said she has a compromised immune system and is afraid she might get it.

“I have to say if I were to get this, I would die, period,” she said.

The mask mandate is set to last as long as the state of emergency lasts in Pensacola which as of now goes until August 13 but the city council can vote to end it at any time.

The city has 22,000 masks and they are working on a plan now to distribute them to those who need it most.

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