Fort Walton Beach City Council to discuss face masks at next meeting

On Tuesday night, the Fort Walton Beach City Council will discuss the City’s stance on masks and face coverings within the City limits related to COVID-19. They will also hear from the public on the issue.

On July 21, 2020, the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners adopted an Emergency Ordinance requiring businesses within unincorporated and incorporated areas of the County to post signage signifying their requirements for masks and face coverings. This ordinance included non-criminal penalties but did not specify who was responsible for enforcing the ordinance.

On July 22, 2020, the City of Mary Esther City Council adopted an Emergency Ordinance mandating masks or face coverings in all business establishments within their city limits. This ordinance included non-criminal penalties and will be enforced via the City’s Code Enforcement Division.

In a letter to council members, Alan Gieseman, CEO of White-Wilson Medical Center, wrote the following:

“In light of the social, economic and infrastructural impacts we are facing, we call on you to do everything in your power to change the slope of the pandemic curve and better position our community for the days ahead. We implore your body to adopt measures that will require the wearing of masks in public spaces and businesses when social distancing is not achievable. Furthermore, it it our recommendation that the City engage in campaigns and signage programs promoting both wearing of masks and social distancing.”

The city council meeting will take place at 5:30pm on July 28, 2020.

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