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Florida Governor extends ban on local enforcement of mask mandates, business restrictions

Jake Dima, DCNF

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently extended a September order that prohibited the local enforcement of mask mandates and business restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday’s renewed order, which was originally issued Sept. 25, prevents local government from infringing on businesses’ operations, forbids local governments from forcing restaurants to limit indoor capacity to 50% capacity and suspended fine collection for mask ordinance violations, according to CBS Miami. The governor’s order did not outright forbid mask mandates, the local outlet reported.

The extension detailed that Florida “continues to suffer economic harm as a result of COVID-19 related closures, exacerbating the impacts of the State of Emergency, and Floridians should not be prohibited by local governments from working or operating a business,” according to CBS Miami.

DeSantis’ mandate will remain in effect until the state’s virus emergency declaration is lifted, the local outlet reported.

Florida has nearly 939,000 COVID-19 cases with approximately 54,000 positive coronavirus tests within the last seven days, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The state has around 85 deaths per 100,000 residents, government data showed.

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