County Commissioners vote on masks, penalties, and curfew
The Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners held an emergency meeting on Friday, October 2 to vote on and approve the renewal of county resolution 20-57, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The commissioners discussed changes being made to the county’s ongoing resolution, with the main changes being the removal of restaurant restrictions, making changes to the county-wide curfew, the removal of fines and penalties related to mask-wearing, and an increase in the maximum number of people allowed for gatherings.
Commissioner Gene Morgan addressed the county-ordered rule for wearing a mask facial covering order which now, because of the recent executive order by Governor Ron DeSantis, would not be enforceable.
Morgan said it would be “silly” to continue mandating a local regulation that could not be enforced.
Commissioner Brenda Holt responded to Morgan, voicing her support for the order, saying that while it may be unenforceable, the mask mandate reflects the county’s views on the safety of masks and that the commissioners should do everything possible to keep the vulnerable populations safe from COVID-19.
Commissioner Sherrie Taylor said she would only be in favor of adjusting the currently mandated curfew with small increments that would slowly reduce the curfew hours, rather than drastically reducing the curfew immediately.
Holt then moved to approve the current resolution but making changes to that the curfew will be changed to 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. In Holt’s motion, she also specified that the face-covering order will remain in place, and regulations for restaurants will be lifted.
Per Governor DeSantis’ executive order, Holt clarified that all of Gadsden County’s COVID-19 related fines will also be lifted.
Before voting to approve Holt’s motion, the board consulted Colonel Collins of the Gadsden County Sherriff’s Office on the curfew changes and potential gathering size limit.
Collins indicated that the Sherriff’s Office would support the curfew change and that groups could be increased to a maximum of 50 people.
The group size limit of a maximum of 50 people was added to Holt’s motion.
The board passed the motion to approve resolution 20-57, three votes to one, with Morgan being the dissenting vote.
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