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Manatee County Passes Face Mask Ordinance

Server wearing mask setting a table outdoors.
The resolution requires an individual in a business establishment to wear a face covering while inside the business, unless social distancing can be achieved (6 feet or more apart).

Manatee County commissioners have passed a resolution requiring the wearing of face masks.

The vote was not unanimous and came after 5 hours of public discussion on Monday.

The mandate includes all indoor businesses in Manatee County.

RELATED: Here's Where You Must Wear A Mask In Greater Tampa Bay Region

In June, the board declined to mandate masks despite recommendations from county health experts. The commission then went on a month-long summer recess.

Since then, the Manatee County cities of Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach passed their own mandates.

As of Monday, 7,896 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Manatee County, and 156 people have died.

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.