Face Covering Executive Order

View the Order as a PDF file from the Osceola County website

EMERGENCY ORDER NO. 5 PERTAINING TO COVID-19 

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that spreads rapidly from person to person and may result in serious illness or death, and constitutes a clear and present threat to the lives, health, welfare, and safety of the people of Osceola County, Florida; and

 WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order Number 20-51, directing the State Health Officer and Surgeon General to declare a Public Health Emergency due to the discovery of COVID-19 in Florida; and WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order Number 20-52, declaring a State of Emergency for the state of Florida related to COVID19 and enacting the powers of political subdivisions to exercise its powers under Section 252.38, Florida Statutes; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 is an emergency whose increasing effects are being felt within Osceola County and on account thereof, there is reason to believe that the virus will continue to spread; and WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 252.46, Florida Statutes, the municipalities have the power to issue emergency orders with the force of law; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, a State of Local Emergency – Resolution #20- 054R was declared under the provisions of the Florida Statutes and the Osceola County Code due to the serious threat to life and property within the County arising from COVID-19; and

 WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, the Declaration of the State of Local Emergency was extended pursuant to Resolution #20-055R due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 30, 2020, the Declaration of the State of Local Emergency was extended pursuant to Resolution #20-056R due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on April 6, 2020, the Declaration of the State of Local Emergency was extended pursuant to Resolution #20-059R due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19; and WHEREAS, COVID-19 is spread amongst the population by various means of exposure, including the propensity to spread person to person and the propensity to attach to surfaces for prolonged periods of time, thereby spreading from surface to person and causing increased infections to persons; and

WHEREAS, public health experts have consistently recommended avoiding close physical interaction between people in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) has updated and further restricted its distancing guidelines; and 

WHEREAS, despite measures previously taken, COVID-19 has rapidly spread in the State of Florida as well as in Osceola County, necessitating updated and more stringent distancing guidelines; and 

WHEREAS, as of the date of this Order COVID-19 continues to be a concern due to increases in the number of positive cases within the jurisdictional boundaries of Osceola County and to limit its potential community spread, it is now necessary for Osceola County to implement further restrictions for the general health, safety, and welfare of the community; and 

WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies)”; and 

WHEREAS, this order is in addition to, Executive Order 2 and Executive Order 3 effective March 26, 2020, including any extensions thereof; and 

WHEREAS, while it is important to update and revise the social distancing guidelines to protect the public, it is also important to preserve the public’s access to necessary services, such as food, prescriptions and health care, and to maintain the operation of critical infrastructure as identified by the federal government; and WHEREAS, the emergency powers of the EPG include establishing curfews, limiting public congregations and other powers necessary to secure the public health and safety; and 

WHEREAS, this Emergency Executive Order is issued to protect the health and safety of the citizens, residents and visitors of Osceola County, to assist the healthcare delivery system in its ability to serve those persons infected by COVID-19, and to preserve the public’s access to essential services and maintain the operation of critical infrastructure. 

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED: 

Section 1. Definitions. a. Face Covering shall mean a uniform piece of material that securely covers a person’s nose and mouth and remains affixed in place without the use of one’s hands. 

Section 2. Face Coverings required.  

a. Every person working, living, visiting, or doing business in Osceola County is required to wear a cloth facial covering consistent with the current CDC guidelines while in any public place. 

b. Medical and surgical face masks, such as "N95" masks or other similar medical or surgical masks, are in short supply and should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment. Persons are encouraged to review and comply with the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines on personal protective equipment, including with respect to the use of a medical or surgical face mask, such as an "N95" mask or other similar medical or surgical mask 

Section 3. Exceptions. 

a. Nothing herein shall require the wearing of face coverings by the following persons:
i) Persons under the age of two years; and
ii) Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition; and
iii) Persons working in a profession who do not have any face-to- face interactions with the public; and
iv) Persons working in a profession where use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession; and
v) Persons exercising, while observing social distancing in accordance with the CDC guidelines. 

Section 4. This Order hereby replaces Executive Order #4 pertaining to COVID-19. 

Section 5. Effective Date; 
Expiration Date.
a. This Emergency Executive Order shall become effective on April 13, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.
b. This Emergency Executive Order shall continue until further notice and unless otherwise modified or repealed.