Palm Beach County To Reinstate Mask Mandate At Government Buildings

Mask Pic, 16:9

Photo: Getty Images

Palm Beach County is the latest in the state to require masks to be worn in government buildings.

On the heels of Miami-Dade's move earlier this week, a statement from Palm Beach says that "Due to the CDC's updated guidance and the rising positivity rates of COVID-19 in Palm Beach County, it is necessary to reinstate a facial covering requirement for County employees and members of the public in County-owned and leased facilities."

The policy will take effect on Monday.

The move is contradictory to County Mayor Dave Kerner earlier this week saying there is no "appetite" for any mandate. At the time, Kerner didn't rule out mandating that county employees get vaccinated, but said that it would take a vote by the County Commission.

All of this as county Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso says there were more than 700 daily COVID cases last week and while the amount of people getting vaccinated has been climbing over the past couple of weeks, there is still too much hesitancy.

Alonso told a virtual gathering of the Village of Wellington officials that she's hearing from people who say that they are getting tested weekly to avoid getting the shots.

The doctor says the only way to beat the virus is to get vaccinated.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 64 percent of people ages 12 and older in Palm Beach County have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, but Alonso says only 35 percent of 12 to 19 year olds are vaccinated.

A doctor from Wellington Regional Medical Center described emergency rooms as "packed" with COVID patients, likening it to the way things were back in the early days of the pandemic.

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