Communication Builds Our Community

Commission Votes to Encourage Masks, Stops Short of Mandate

The Lake Wales City Commission voted Tuesday to encourage people to wear masks or similar face coverings to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Commissioners stopped short of issuing a mandate, but indicated that's something they may consider in the future if voluntary compliance doesn't seem to be working.

The resolution adopted during the July 7 commission meeting cites support for Center for Disease Control recommends wearing face coverings, particularly "in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."

The Commission resolution encouraged face coverings within any indoor location "for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public."

"Should voluntary compliance prove to be insufficient for the protection of the public, the City Commission will revisit the matter and consider making the wearing of masks mandatory rather than voluntary," the resolution read.

At a July 1 workshop City Attorney Chuck Galloway recommended the resolution to encourage face coverings, rather than making them mandatory, which he said would be difficult to enforce and likely result in costly litigation.

The Polk County Commission this week rejected the call to make mask wearing mandatory, and agreed to purchase one million masks to help citizens comply voluntarily.


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