‘It’s just all kind of pointing in that direction': Business ready for mandatory mask order to take effect

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 10:48 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state of Florida, the Leon County Commission voted Tuesday to mandate face masks at local businesses in an attempt to stop the spread.

That ordinance takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. The vote comes on the heels of numerous temporary business closures in Tallahassee due to coronavirus.

“It really was the past three days when all the restaurants around town were putting up posts on Facebook and social media, ‘We’re closing two weeks because so and so tested positive,‘” said Adam Wells the owner of the Midtown Caboose.

Wells says they didn’t want to be next.

“It’s just all kind of pointing in that direction to take a step back and re-asses,” he said.

The burger business will be reverting back to curbside to-go after allowing people to socially distance on the patio for weeks.

They’re not the only ones taking proactive measures.

“This experience has been absolutely mind-blowing and wild,” said Tyler Rice, owner of Backwoods Crossing, which is temporarily closed not due to anyone showing symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution so all employees can get tested.

“We didn’t want to take any chances,” he continued. “We wanted to get ahead of the curve and make sure our staff and community remain safe.”

They’ll reopen on Thursday to the new mask mandate in effect, which requires anyone in a public space under a roof to wear one.

Some, who have battled the virus, might tell you it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“I wish it upon no one,” said Dave Lemon, who is recovering from COVID-19.

The ordinance will force businesses, like Kraft Nissan, where employees were already required, to now enforce the patrons.

“Starting tomorrow, everyone will have to wear a mask all the time,” said Kraft Nissan General Manager Philip Sollecito.

Meanwhile, inside gyms, wearing a mask may be a tough sell. But, those exercising with at least six feet of distance from another person can go without.

Restaurant and bar patrons eating or drinking are also exempt from the order. For a full list of exemptions, click here.

The county says there will be a penalty to pay; fines start at $50 and could increase to $250, with a mandatory court appearance.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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