Aug. 13 Special Meeting Summary: Face Coverings Order Now Includes Children at Least 5 Years of Age

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update No. 207

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Aug. 13, 2020) - The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners today lowered the age at which children are required to wear a face covering to help slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

A majority of Commissioners voted to amend the face coverings mandate to apply to children 5 years of age and older, in alignment with recommendations made by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The original order exempted children under the age of 8. Also, a majority of Commissioners voted in favor of keeping the face coverings order in effect throughout the COVID-19 state of local emergency unless rescinded or amended, eliminating the necessity of revisiting the order weekly.

In other action today:

  • Several Commissioners expressed deep concern over this afternoon's announcement from the Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent that brick and mortar schools will open on Aug. 31. While the 14-day positivity rate in Hillsborough continues to trend downward - today it is 9.38% - Commissioners say the numbers are still too high.
  • Commissioners extended the state of local emergency enacted in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. A state of local emergency can be in effect for only seven days, unless extended. The declaration gives the County Administrator and emergency managers the ability to quickly take certain actions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and provides a path for federal reimbursement of certain expenses.
  • Heard an update from Emergency Management Director Tim Dudley that because of a continuing decrease in the demand for COVID-19 testing, the days/hours of operations at three public testing sites are being scaled back. Beginning Monday, Aug. 17, testing sites at the Lee Davis and Plant City Community Service Centers will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The testing site at the SouthShore Community Service Center will be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The next special meeting of the County Commission to address emergency management issues related to COVID-19 is scheduled Thursday, Aug. 20, at 1:30 p.m.

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