Mask rule in effect until end of local state of emergency

Posted 9/24/20

MARTIN COUNTY – On August 25, 2020, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance No. 1140 requiring persons wear face coverings in public places.

The ordinance will …

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Mask rule in effect until end of local state of emergency

Posted

MARTIN COUNTY – On August 25, 2020, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners passed Ordinance No. 1140 requiring persons wear face coverings in public places.

The ordinance will remain in effect until the expiration of Martin County’s State of Local Emergency, as may be extended by subsequent order or declaration or upon repeal by the Board, whichever occurs earlier.

What is a face covering? What does it do?

Face coverings help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep you and those around you safe. The use of face coverings may reduce transmission by more than 50%. Face coverings should cover your nose and your mouth and comply with CDC recommendations for selection, use, and sanitization. Please note face coverings are in addition to, and not a substitute for, required social distancing.

Who has to wear a face covering and when?

Generally stated, face coverings must be worn by all persons when in an indoor public place or obtaining any good or service from any indoor establishment, and by all persons working in those establishments where the presence of another person is probable. These general rules apply to all indoor public places and establishments, including businesses, stores, and amenities.

All persons in restaurants and food service establishments also have to wear face coverings, whether indoors or outdoors, unless the person is actively consuming food or beverages or falls within another exception.

Face coverings must also be worn by all persons when in any outdoor public place, business, or establishment when CDC social distancing guidelines cannot be met and/or are not being practiced.

What are the consequences of violating the ordinance?

A violation of this ordinance is a noncriminal infraction and shall be enforced by county law enforcement agencies. A violation does not authorize the search or arrest of an individual. It is the intent of this ordinance to seek voluntary compliance and to educate and warn of the benefits of compliance and the dangers of noncompliance.

Prior to issuance of a citation, the individual will be asked to comply with the ordinance or explain how an exemption applies. It is up to the discretion of the law enforcement officer to determine whether the circumstances warrant the issuance of a written warning to the individual for non-compliance. Failure to comply with the requirements of this ordinance presents a serious threat to public health, safety and welfare, and a citation may be issued for such a violation after the above inquiry and if the individual received a prior written warning.

The penalty for a violation of this ordinance is: $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense and $250 for the third offense and each subsequent offense.

May municipalities impose additional, stricter limitations on face coverings?

Yes. Municipalities may have stricter limitations than the County. Any more stringent requirements imposed by a municipality are in addition to the requirements stated in this ordinance and as further explained in these Frequently Asked Questions. Please check with your municipality for additional restrictions.

Do I have to wear a face covering at the gym?

If you are at a gym or fitness center (including similar establishments, such as dance studios, yoga studios, boxing clubs, etc.), you must wear a face covering except when physically working out.

Do I have to wear a face covering in a park?

Unless another exception applies, face coverings are required to be worn in parks whenever you cannot consistently maintain at least six feet (6’) of social distance from any person who is not in your household or group.

What about at restaurants? Who has to wear face coverings and when?

You must wear a face covering at all times when at a restaurant, including when entering, exiting, and otherwise moving around within the establishment, except during the shortest practical period when you are actually eating or drinking. For example, the face covering should be worn when arriving at the restaurant, while waiting to be seated (whether waiting inside or outside nearby the facility), while being seated, and when up and about such as to use the facilities. Face coverings do not need to be worn while sitting at your table. All restaurant staff must wear face coverings at all times.

Do I have to wear a face covering while shopping at a retail store?

Yes. Unless another exception applies, face coverings must be worn by persons obtaining goods or services at the grocery store, the mall, or any other retail establishment. Please note that these requirements apply both while inside the establishment and while entering or leaving the establishment, including while leaving for short periods of time.

Do I have to wear a face covering on the beach?

Generally, no. Face coverings are not required to be worn on the beach unless you cannot consistently maintain at least six feet (6’) of social distance from any person who is not in your household or group (other than when use of the beach or water necessarily precludes the wearing of a face covering, such as while swimming, surfing, or otherwise exercising), unless an exception applies. All persons must have a face covering available and ready to use at all times and be able to show their face coverings upon request by local authorities.

Do I have to wear a face covering at an outdoor pool? While I’m swimming? What about pool staff?

Yes. Unless another exception applies, face coverings are required to be worn on the pool deck if social distancing is not being practiced, except when use of the pool necessarily precludes the wearing of a face covering (such as while swimming). Pool staff must wear also face coverings during in-person interactions with the public if social distancing is not possible or being practiced (except when deemed necessary to perform life-saving measures) and when they are within six feet of a person who is not a member of their household.

Do I have to wear a face covering at a marina? What about on my boat?

Yes. Unless another exception applies, face coverings are required to be worn at the marina and when launching boats whenever you cannot consistently maintain at least six feet (6’) of social distance from any person who is not in your household or group. Captain, crew members, and patrons must wear face coverings on shore and on the vessel whenever social distancing requirements cannot be maintained.

My business is open. Do I have to wear a face covering at work? Do my customers have to wear a face covering?

Yes, whenever the presence of another person is probable a face covering must be worn. Businesses must ensure that employees wear face coverings in the workplace. Social distancing of six feet should be practiced to the maximum extent possible, even when face coverings are worn. In addition, the business must require customers, clients, and other visitors to the business to wear face coverings in accordance with the requirements of the ordinance.

I’m getting a haircut, shave, manicure, or other personal service. Do I have to wear a face covering if I am receiving a service? Does the stylist or service provider have to wear a face covering?

Yes, you must wear a face covering to the full extent practicable for the service required. If you are obtaining a manicure, for example, you must wear a face covering throughout the service. If you are obtaining a shave, you must wear a face covering except during the shortest practical period of time when the service requires removal of the face covering. Personal service employees must wear face coverings when working.

Do I have to wear a face covering while at a hotel?

Guests must wear face coverings in check-in areas, elevators, and all other common spaces, but not in rented guest rooms. All persons within the courtesy shuttle or in the business center must wear face coverings. The face covering requirements applicable to the specific use areas (such as restaurants and fitness centers) shall be required in accordance with the specific use areas. For example, at hotel restaurants, please refer to the guidelines for restaurants.

Are there exceptions to the face covering requirements?

Yes. The persons who are not required to wear face coverings are as follows:

• Children under six (6) years of age and any child while under the custody of a licensed childcare facility, including schools, summer camps, and daycare centers

• Individuals prohibited from wearing face coverings by federal or state safety or health regulations
Public safety, fire or other life safety personnel that have personal protective equipment requirements governed by their respective agencies
• Persons actively engaged in exercise and who are social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines
• Persons providing or receiving goods and services from a business or establishment for the shortest practical period of time during which the receipt of such goods or services necessarily precludes the wearing of a face covering such as, but not limited to, consuming food or beverage or receiving dental services, facial grooming, or treatments
• Persons who have a medical condition or disability that makes the wearing of face coverings unsafe
• When a person asserts he or she has a disability that makes the wearing of a face covering unsafe, a business may exclude the person as they pose a direct threat to the health and safety of employees and other patrons, and the business shall reasonably accommodate the person with a disability in a manner that does not fundamentally alter operations, cause an undue hardship, or jeopardize the health of employees and customers
• Persons may temporarily remove face coverings while assisting persons who are hearing impaired or who rely on reading lips in order to communicate
• Persons in private rooms of a lodging establishment, such as hotel, motel, or vacation rental; however, face coverings must be worn in common areas as proscribed by this ordinance
Persons engaged in outdoor work or recreation with appropriate social distancing pursuant to CDC guidelines in place and being practiced

I have an exception to the face covering requirements, but an establishment will not let me in. What can I do?

Martin County has established certain exceptions to the county requirements for face coverings. Please note that a business may deny access for any legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason. If you believe an establishment is treating you inappropriately, you may want to provide a copy of the ordinance and discuss your concern with management of the establishment if you feel comfortable doing so.

I have a health condition that makes breathing while wearing a face covering particularly difficult. Am I required to wear a face covering?

No, the ordinance does not require that persons who have difficulty breathing, or for whom the wearing of a face covering is otherwise unsafe, wear face coverings.

I have a health condition that does not allow me to wear a face covering. Do I need to show medical proof before seeking access to a business or other establishment?

No, the ordinance does not require that you provide medical proof of a health condition that renders you exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering. Please note, however, that a municipality or individual establishment may impose other or additional requirements.

How should I discard my face covering?

Reusable face coverings should be properly sanitized after each use per CDC guidelines. Disposable face coverings and other disposable personal protective equipment such as gloves must be discarded properly in a waste receptacle.

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