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Sarasota Puts Halt To Mandatory Mask Ordinance

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The city will instead "encourage" residents to wear masks.

Sarasota city commissioners voted on Thursday to formally drop a mandatory mask ordinance.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports three of the five members of the commission voted to stop extending the emergency order, effective next Thursday.

The vote came despite testimony of a number of doctors and other local health experts urging commissioners to reconsider. Instead, the city will draft a resolution "encouraging" residents to wear face coverings.

The Sarasota County Commission has a similar suggestion in effect.

The city of Sarasota's order had been in effect since July, but was largely toothless after Gov. Ron DeSantis took away local governments' ability to enforce such policies last fall.