Palm Beach County Sending Reusable Masks to Households

Protective masks, normally used for surgery, are now in use to fight the Corona Virus SARS-nCov-19.
Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

Florida’s Palm Beach County will send every household two reusable masks as part of its greater effort to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus and enforce the county’s mask directive, Mayor Dave Kerner (D) announced on Friday.

Kerner said the county, which ordered 1.5 million masks, will send them to the roughly 660,000 households. The move will cost the county $2.5 million, but there is no set date on when they will arrive and be distributed to residents.

“We want to make sure that every member of this community, no matter where you live, has access to the personal protective equipment that is needed to keep yourself safe and members of the public and community at large safe,” County Mayor Dave Kerner said Friday.

He said he is “pushing the pedal to the metal” on getting the masks into the hands of residents. They will reportedly begin to go out in July, according to the Palm Beach Post.

“If the doctors say we need to load up on [personal protective equipment] then we’re going to get it to them as soon as possible,” Kerner stated.

Palm Beach County commissioners unanimously approved of the ordinance, which went into effect on Thursday.

Per the city:

Facial coverings must be worn by all persons, other than those specifically exempted, while obtaining any good or service or otherwise visiting or working in any business or establishment, including entering, exiting, and otherwise moving around within the establishment. Facial coverings must be worn by all persons in public places where social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines is not possible or not being practiced.

Individuals under the age of two and those with medical conditions are among those who are not required to wear a face covering. Violators could be subject to fines.

Palm Beach County has experienced a higher concentration of cases than many of the counties in Florida, accounting for over 10 percent of the state’s overall coronavirus cases. It has reported 12,498 positive cases since March 1, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard Saturday morning.

Similarly, the St. Augustine City Commission voted unanimously on Friday to require those in the City of St. Augustine — a historic city in Northeast Florida — to wear masks, with a handful of standard exceptions. The order went into effect Saturday. Penalties include a fine of up to $500, according to the resolution.


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