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Coronavirus curfew rescinded in Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County leaders voted Thursday to rescind a countywide curfew in response to the coronavirus, just days after it was implemented.

“I believe we may have made the wrong decision at our last meeting,” Melissa Snivley, the chairwoman of the Hillsborough County School Board, said.

She is one of eight members on the emergency policy group. Since the crisis began, the group has met twice a week to discuss issues and implement rules for county residents.

“Since Monday, my phones have been ringing off the hook and my email has been flooded by citizens all over the county, who are upset about the curfew,” Snivley said.

The curfew, which went into effect Monday night after being passed in a 5-to-3 vote, was aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the county.

Commission Chair Les Miller proposed it, saying people were not abiding by social distancing guidelines.

But, within seconds of Thursday’s policy group meeting, Snivley interrupted roll call and said she was putting forth a motion to cancel it.

The group unanimously rescinded the curfew.

Tampa attorney Patrick Leduc told 8 On Your Side on Monday that he planned to sue the county. On Thursday, Leduc had the suit drafted and was ready to file. He said he is not going forward with it, but expects someone to sue the county for what he calls poor decision making.

“They affected 1.4 million people with this stupidity,” Leduc said.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor proposed at the meeting to order residents to wear face coverings when in certain locations, like stores, pharmacies and essential workplaces.

But, in an 2-to-6 vote, the group denied the idea, instead simply asking county residents and visitors to wear the coverings when around others.

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