Pinellas County extends mask-wearing requirement


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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County has extended its local state of emergency for COVID-19 through April 16, the county said in a press release.

The order, which has been extended every week since last March, requires people to wear face coverings in public spaces. Commissioners will meet again next week to vote on whether to extend it further.

The extension comes as local governments across the country lift coronavirus restrictions as more age groups get vaccinated against the virus. On Monday, Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles issued an executive order rescinding the county’s mask mandate.

However, Pinellas County has seen a slight uptick in cases. There were 1,590 new cases reported between March 29 and April 4, an increase from the 1,457 cases reported between March 22 and March 28. As of Wednesday, the county’s rolling seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests was 6.7%.

Officials said 331,280 people in Pinellas County have received at least one or both doses of the vaccine.

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