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Seminole County Mask Mandate Will Stay In Effect, But With Some Amendments in Place

Photo: Jay Zembower
Photo: Jay Zembower

Seminole County Commissioners voted to keep an amended version of a face mask mandate in place. The vote came after nearly four hours of public comment mostly against the mask mandate.

The commission voted 3-2 to require face masks in public places until at least fifty percent of county residents are vaccinated. Until that time, the amended order calls on the commission to reconsider the face mask mandate every 30 days or sooner if medical experts recommend lifting it. 

Commissioner Jay Zembower who introduced the amendment says requiring face masks in public places only makes sense as cases, hospitalizations and deaths rise.

“This is not a political statement. I don’t care whether you’re an Independent, a Libertarian, a Republican or a Democrat. This is about the safety of a community.”

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County resident Nancy Celleri, who was one of almost 50 people to speak during public comment, is a registered nurse. She spoke passionately in favor of keeping the mandate in place.

“We would not consult a plumber when we're diagnosed with bladder cancer. We would consult the medical community. That community appeared here today and unanimously agreed that this is not the time to stop using every tool we have in the box to fight this savage disease that has taken three members of my husband’s family.”

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The commission voted down adding language to the order that would recommend the use of facial coverings in private indoor settings like small businesses in the county.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.