Face masks required in City of Sarasota starting July 1
Contact: Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist 941-928-3988; email@example.com
Sarasota, FL: The City Commission on Monday approved an ordinance requiring that face coverings be worn in indoor and outdoor public locations and businesses in Sarasota in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Face masks are not required within residences or places of lodging, or when proper physical or social distancing, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, can be observed.
The face mask requirement begins at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, and will be in effect for 60 days. A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the requirement is available online. For concerns, questions or more information about masks, email mandatory.mask@sarasotaFL.gov.
Other exceptions include:
- Children under the age of 18
- Schools, daycares and non-City government agencies
- People for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
- Those working in a business or profession who do not interact with others, who maintain physical or social distancing from others or where a face covering would prevent them from performing their duties
- Those who are outdoors or exercising while maintaining physical distancing
- Those who are eating or drinking
The requirement also doesn’t apply when a hearing-impaired person needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering in order to communicate.
The City’s enforcement efforts will focus on compliance and education. Violations of the mask requirement could result in a civil, non-criminal infraction with penalties up to a $500 fine. An email and phone line for concerns, questions and more information will be available soon.
Complimentary face masks will be available for pickup outside City Hall from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 30, and Wednesday, July 1.
The City has already distributed thousands of traditional paper masks and cloth masks for free to residents, visitors and local businesses.
According to the CDC, everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick, and the cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
The Florida Department of Health also recently issued a public health advisory recommending that all individuals in Florida wear masks in any setting where social distancing is not possible.
A state-run, walk-up COVID-19 testing site is available at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until daily testing capacity is reached. Testing is open to everyone, regardless of residency or symptoms, and no appointments are necessary.
A Sarasota-specific call center for questions and concerns about COVID-19 is available through the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County: 941-861-2883. Subject matter experts are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The most current, official information on COVID-19 in Florida can be found at www.FloridaHealth.gov/COVID-19. A 24/7 hotline is also available: 1-866-779-6121.
For more information, contact Jason Bartolone, Communications Specialist: 941-928-3988.
About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by U.S. News and World Report as the 18th Best Place to Live in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 56,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaFL.Gov.