News

Hillsborough Emergency Officials Extend Face Coverings Order with Some Changes

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 160

Hillsborough County, Fla. (June 29, 2020) - A majority of the members of the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group voted today to extend their executive order regarding face coverings - with a few amendments - for at least another week.

The original order approved on June 22 requires the wearing of face coverings inside businesses that are open to the public and where employees and customers aren't able to maintain social distancing. "Business" means any business entity that provides goods or services directly to the public. The order allows several exceptions, such as for people who have health conditions, or whose jobs can't be performed while wearing a mask, or during exercise, among others.

EPG members today approved these amendments, effective immediately:

  • Non-profit organizations that supply goods and services in inside areas accessible by the public must also require employees and customers to wear face coverings.
  • The age exception for children is increased to those under the age of 8.
  • All children under the age of 18 don't have to wear face coverings as long as they are participating in such activities as organized youth sports, summer camps, and childcare programs.

Operators of establishments are currently responsible for compliance and enforcement. EPG members discussed that provision at length today. They asked the County Attorney's Office to further research alternatives to criminal penalties, good faith efforts that can be made by business operators to comply with the order, and ideas for shifting some of the responsibility for following the mandate to patrons.

The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group is comprised of three County Commissioners, the mayors from the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, the Sheriff, and Chairman of the School Board. Authority is granted by Article 8 of the Florida Constitution, Section 125.66 and Chapter 252, Florida Statutes. Hillsborough County enacted Hillsborough County Code of Ordinances and Laws Chapter 22, Article II, Sections 22-23 in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the County's residents during declared emergencies.

The next EPG meeting is scheduled Thursday, July 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Other Hillsborough County News
Changes to Curbside Library Services - The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is adjusting the hours for curbside services at some locations. Until further notice, the Ruskin, Robert W. Saunders, Sr., 78th Street Community, Arthenia L. Joyner University Area Community, and West Tampa branch libraries will be open for curbside services on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The change was necessary as employees who are an integral part of Hillsborough County's emergency response during the COVID-19 pandemic have been called to serve in emergency support capacities. Visit HCPLC.org to access all library services, or call (813) 273-3652.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, call (813) 272-5900, the County's main information line.