ST. LUCIE COUNTY – To help slow the spread of COVID-19, St. Lucie County Administrator Howard Tipton has issued an executive order requiring that anyone entering a county managed facility, including offices, libraries and attractions, must wear a face covering, starting Monday, June 29. Additionally, the Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, July 1 at 2 p.m. to discuss a countywide order requiring facial coverings to be worn inside public places where social distancing isn’t possible.
The special meeting will be held in the St. Lucie County Commission Chambers, 2300 Virginia Ave., Fort Pierce. The public is welcome to attend; however, the capacity inside the Chambers will be limited to comply with social distancing guidelines. Those who are unable to attend can submit public comment two ways:
· Email at email@example.com;
· Residents without access to the Internet can comment by phone at 772-462-1499 and TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) number at 772-462-1428.
· Comments must be submitted by noon the day prior to the meeting.
Residents can watch the meeting live on Comcast 28/U-Verse 99 or online at www.facebook.com/stluciegov or https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/board-of-county-commissioners/meeting-portal-page. Copies of the draft orders can be found on the meeting portal page link listed above.
The draft county-wide order requiring facial covers, if approved, would apply to the entire county and states that all persons working in restaurants, grocery stores, food service, salons, gyms, any retail establishments, or businesses open to the public or any other locations visited by the public, where social distancing is not possible, shall wear face coverings.
Exception to the order include:
· Persons under the age of two years;
· Persons observing social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines;
· Those with existing health condition or disability that prevent them from wearing a face covering;
· Persons working in a business or profession who do not have interactions with other persons;
· Those working in a business or profession where use of a face covering would prevent them from performing the duties of the business or profession;
· Anyone exercising, while maintaining social distancing;
· Persons eating or drinking;
· Public safety, fire and other life safety and health care personnel, as their personal protective equipment requirements will be governed by their respective agencies; and
· The requirement shall not apply when a person who is hearing-impaired needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering in order to communicate.
A proper face covering includes any covering which snugly covers the nose and mouth, whether store bought or homemade, and which is secured in place. Residents are encouraged to review the Center for Disease Control and Florida Department of Health guidelines regarding properly and safely applying, removing, and cleaning masks. Medical and surgical masks, such as N95 masks or other similar medical surgical masks, should be reserved for health care personnel, police, fire fighters, emergency management and other first responders engaged in life/safety activities.