MARTIN COUNTY — Martin County residents are encouraged to wear masks or cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but the county may rescind the current mask ordinance and instead just encourage residents to do the right thing and wear the masks to protect others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is most easily transmitted in the moisture that leaves the mouth and nose when you talk, cough or sneeze. Cloth face masks catch that moisture so it does not land on or get inhaled by someone else. Since many who are COVID-19 positive have no symptoms, they could be spreading the virus without knowing it. The CDC considers wearing masks essential to efforts to control the spread of the virus.
When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Phase 3 of his reopening plan, he ordered that fines for refusing to wear a mask be waived.
At the Sept. 29 Martin County Commission meeting, the board voted to consider rescinding the current mask ordinance at the Oct. 13 meeting and instead approve an emergency order that strongly encourages the wearing of face coverings.
As of Oct. 1, Martin County had 4,942 positive cases. Since testing began in March, 393 Martin County residents have been hospitalized related to COVID-19 and 143 have died. ZIP code 34956 (Indiantown) has 986 positive cases to date.