Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry signed an executive order extending Duval County’s COVID-19 face mask mandate another 30 days.
The order dated Dec. 26 requires every person 6 years old and older to wear a face covering while in a public place or business and unable to social distance.
The previous order was set to expire at 5 p.m. the day Curry signed the extension and the renewal is in effect until Jan. 25.
Like previous orders, business owners, operators and their employees are responsible for enforcing the rule.
The executive proclamation includes clear plastic face shields in its definition of face coverings.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Sept. 25 lifting statewide capacity restrictions for bars and restaurants, moving the state into Phase 3 of reopening.
DeSantis took away the ability of local government to fine businesses and individuals who don’t follow local COVID-19-related mandates, but the governor’s order did not prohibit cities like Jacksonville from issuing face mask orders.
The Florida governor has resisted public pressure to issue a statewide face mask order like 42 other U.S. states, territories and Washington, D.C., according to U.S. News & World Report. That’s despite a Nov. 27 federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study showing face covers can slow community spread of COVID-19.
“Community-level mitigation strategies emphasizing use of masks, physical distancing, staying at home when ill, and enhanced hygiene practices can help reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” the CDC report states.
Curry’s mandate extension comes as UF Health Jacksonville and other Florida hospitals and medical facilities have started to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to front-line workers and patients at long-term care facilities.
However, reported new case continue to be steady. The Florida Department of Health reported 8,057 new COVID-19 cases statewide Dec. 27 and a daily test positivity rate at 11.08%. The state has reported 21,308 deaths related to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic in March.
Duval County had a 12.69% COVID-19 daily positivity rate Dec. 27 with 1,294 new cases reported, according to the department of health statewide dashboard.
Locally, 722 people have died from the virus in Duval County since March.
Curry’s executive proclamation 2020-011 and other coronavirus-related orders can be found at www.jaxready.com/virus.