Emergency Order Requiring Face Coverings Dies Without a Motion So the Issue Didn't Go to a Vote
LAKELAND, FL (June 22, 2020) | The Lakeland City Commission had a specially called City Commission Meeting on Monday, June 22nd at 9 a.m. to consider requiring the use of masks/face coverings within the Lakeland corporate limits. After hearing from two of Lakeland’s largest health care providers, the Commission discussed the topic before Mayor Mutz asked for a motion to vote on the ordinance. The Emergency Order then died because it never got a motion and a second as part of the voting process. Doctor Steven Achinger, Managing Partner at Watson Clinic and Danielle Drummond, President & CEO-elect for Lakeland Regional Health both shared their concerns on the issue during the three-hour meeting. Achinger relayed scientific analysis on why face coverings should be mandatory and Drummond shared concerns over growing hospitalizations due to the coronavirus. Mayor Bill Mutz said, “I am disappointed that we didn’t even get enough interest to get a vote on the topic.”
The meeting was done virtually using the latest remote meeting technology. A call-in code was provided for audience participation at the beginning of the meeting. There were callers representing both sides of the issue with those for a mandated face-covering ordinance and those that opposed the issue. Florida’s positive COVID-19 cases continue to increase and that is evident by the rising Polk County cases. The City of Lakeland encourages the public to follow the CDC recommendations for social distancing and hygiene. The City of Lakeland has developed a dedicated webpage with a number of resources to help the community stay informed. You can find this site by visiting LakelandGov.net/COVID19.
The nation is still grappling with the impact of a pandemic and Florida recently has experienced a spike in positive COVID-19 cases with a steady rise since Memorial Day. The CDC continues to study the spread and effects of the novel coronavirus across the United States. We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., big-box stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies). Even though the ordinance did not pass, local health care professionals continue to encourage the use of a face-covering/mask when indoors and in cases when social distancing protocols can’t be properly practiced.
The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population of over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third-largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.
For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
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