Fort Walton Beach council discusses mask mandate to combat COVID-19

Northwest Florida

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Fort Walton Beach City Council is holding a Special Meeting on Tuesday, July 28 to discuss face masks and face coverings related to COVID-19.

WATCH THE DISCUSSION LIVE:

The agenda states the following:

City Council shall discuss the City’s stance on masks and face coverings within the City limits related to COVID-19 and receive input from the public on this issue.

BACKGROUND:

1.1.      Okaloosa County and the State of Florida are now experiencing community spread of COVID-19 which has resulted in a significant outbreak of positive cases of the virus.

1.2.      Recently, discussions about whether to mandate or recommend the wearing of masks or face coverings have emerged nationwide with differing opinions on the effectiveness of the masks in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

1.2.1.      On July 21, 2020, the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners adopted an Emergency Ordinance requiring businesses within unincorporated and incorporated areas of the County to post signage signifying their requirements for masks and face coverings. This ordinance included non-criminal penalties but did not specify who was responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

1.2.2.      On July 21, 2020, City Council scheduled a Special Meeting for July 28, 2020 to discuss the City’s stance on masks and face coverings.

1.2.3.      On July 22, 2020, the City of Mary Esther City Council adopted an Emergency Ordinance mandating masks or face coverings in all business establishments within their city limits. This ordinance included non-criminal penalties and will be enforced via the City’s Code Enforcement Division.

The full agenda can be viewed here.

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