Hillsborough County will require the public, regardless of vaccination status, to wear facial coverings inside county buildings beginning Monday.
The safeguard comes because of an increase in COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Hillsborough County.
The new guidelines will require facial coverings in county facilities such as libraries, recreation centers and the Fredrick B. Karl County Center. The rule applies to employees and members of the public. Children younger than 5, or those with disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask are exempt. The rule also does not apply to children younger than 13 that are practicing social distancing recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Companies or non-profit agencies that are leasing county property, such as the Tampa Sports Authority, can develop their own guidelines.
The change also applies to the public comment period of county commission meetings. Beginning Wednesday, the commission will again accept in-person public comment as part of its regular meetings. Initially, the county recommended people wear masks, but that now will be a requirement.
County Administrator Bonnie Wise signed the administrative order Friday. It can be viewed here.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
A TRIBUTE TO FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.