In a 4-3 vote, the Lakeland City Commission has extended the city-wide mask ordinance. With this extension, the mandate will now be in effect until Oct. 5.
The commission met virtually on Sept. 8 and will re-convene on Oct. 5 to vote on another extension.
This mandate includes the area within the city limits of Lakeland, not all of Polk County.
Dr. Joy Jackson of the Florida Department of Health, Polk County, spoke in regards to the numbers in Polk County and the City of Lakeland, as pictured in the tweet below.
Dr. Jackson is showing recent COVID-19 Data in Polk. The red arrow represents when the first mask resolution was put into effect in #LKLD. She says that while numbers are improving overall, they are beginning to go up again in Polk. pic.twitter.com/Tsbyfs5jmN
— City of Lakeland (@lakelandgov) September 8, 2020
Dr. Micheal Spake of Lakeland Regional Health addressed the commission and spoke in regards to LRH’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers.
“Wearing a mask is what we see as mitigating the biggest risk of spreading COVID-19,” Spake said.
Those that voted in favor of the extension were Mayor Bill Munz, Commissioners Phillip Walker, Sara Roberts McCarley and Stephanie Madden. Those that voted against the extension were Commissioners Chad McLeod, Bill Read and Scott Franklin.
The initial mask mandate was passed on July 2 and lasted for 30 days before the commission members, in a 5-2 vote, passed a 30 day extension on Aug. 3.
The exceptions in the extended mandate remain the same:
- Children under age eight
- People observing social distancing under CDC guidelines
- People for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
- People working in a business or a profession who do not have interactions with others
- Those who work in a business or profession who maintain social distancing from other people
- People working in a business or profession where use of a face covering would prevent them from performing their duties
- People who are exercising while maintaining social distancing
- People who are eating or drinking
- Children under age eighteen years old while participating in youth sports
- Public safety, fire, and other life-safety and health-care personnel; their protective equipment requirements will be governed by their respective agencies
- People communicating with someone who is hearing impaired where the wearing of a face covering would impede communication, provided that social distancing is observed as much as possible
- People for whom the requirement to wear a face-covering would cause a conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act