HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group voted on Monday to extend the mandatory mask order another week.
The County’s mask order states:
“To further protect the public against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group (EPG) enacted an order requiring that face coverings be worn inside businesses that are open to the public, with certain exceptions.
The order applies to all persons, including customers and employees, inside Hillsborough County businesses that are open to the public when social distancing cannot be maintained.”
The EPG was advised to vote on Monday by legal counsel as the order was set to expire.
The group extended the order with a 5-3 vote with Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, Plant City Mayor Rick Lott and Hillsborough County School Board Member Melissa Snively voting against the order.
During public comment people forcefully spoke out against wearing masks.
“Why don’t you care about the lives of the flu victims every year,” one commenter said.
But the head of the county health department Dr. Doug Holt gave sobering numbers about the number of new cases of the virus found.
Holt says the age group between 20 to 34 showing the highest rate of infection with ICU bed occupancy rate also showing a five percent increase in the past 7 days.
Dr. Holt also told board members there has been a 23% increase in positive cases of the virus in the past 7 days with 1.7% of the population in the county has now tested positive for the virus at some point.
Hillsborough County has now distributed over three million free face masks to the public.
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