HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL. – Hillsborough County BOCC, voted on Wednesday, to extend its emergency order related to COVID-19, however, rescinded the mask mandate.
With the executive order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this week, the county cannot require a mask mandate.
The Hillsborough County attorney told the board that individual businesses are still within their own rights to require customers and employees to wear masks if they choose, but businesses can no longer be required to do so by state or local orders.
“It is not a time to let our guard down,” said Commissioner Kimberly Overman. ” Wehave seen other countries fall into a second surge that is actually global in nature right now, in terms of what’s happening.”
With that, a majority of Commissioners approved extending the COVID-19 state of local emergency. When signed, the extension will be in effect at least through May 13.
In their comments today, Commissioners strongly urged individuals and businesses to take responsibility and use good judgment moving forward. Community transmission of COVID-19 remains firmly entrenched in Hillsborough even as demand for the vaccine has declined sharply.
It’s critical, Commissioners said, that all eligible residents take advantage of the widespread opportunities to be vaccinated.
Hillsborough County Schools are not affected by the Governors Executive order on masks. In a tweet on Tuesday, Hillsborough Schools said, “With fewer than four weeks in the 2020-2021 school year, Hillsborough County Public Schools remains committed to closing out this year with the health of our students and staff at the forefront. All HCPS health and safety protocols will remain in effect through the end of this school year, including requiring face coverings for all students and staff while on campus.”