TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis issued a letter Friday stating that he is requiring all 67 counties in the state to submit all COVID-19 measures currently in place by local governments to his office for review.
According to the letter, the governor said, “I kindly request from you a complete response of information in writing pertaining to all actions that you, or any board or commission on which you sit, have taken to implement orders, whether regulations, rules, commands or restrictions on persons, businesses or other entities related to COVID-19.”
The letter continued by asking for the following:
- The full text of any such order along with any amendments
- Any clarification of such order provided businesses or others
- Any enforcement guidance provided to law enforcement, government officials or others
- The possible amount of the fine or penalty, or the length of imprisonment for a violation of any such order
- The number of citations, the numbers and amounts of fines or penalties, and specific information on any arrests and imprisonments due to violations of any such order
- The termination or renewal dates of all orders, or any anticipated termination date of an order
Any mask mandate, ordinance or curfew would be included in this request.
While declining to issue a state-wide mandate, Gov. DeSantis left it up to local governments to adopt mask rules aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
In the Tampa Bay area, four counties have a mask mandate or order in place: Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee.
Cities with mask mandates or orders also in place include Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Longboat Key, Lakeland, Venice and Winter Haven.
Tonight, Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller told 8 On Your Side he’s concerned why the governor is asking to now review orders from all 67 counties.
Miller says the county attorney is going over the governor’s letter which he says he learned about in this tweet.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the mask order has slowed the spread of the virus in Hillsborough county,” Miller said.
All counties must have their information submitted to the governor’s office by Tuesday, Sept. 15.
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