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Posted on: April 8, 2020

ADDITIONAL PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND CUSTOMERS

Starting at midnight tonight, Monroe County emergency directive 20-05 mandates all essential businesses deploy strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The mandates include limiting capacity to 50 percent of maximum occupancy and providing hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes for use by customers and employees. All employees and customers of grocery stores, pharmacies, food distribution points, hardware stores and other essential businesses where 10 or more people may be present shall be required to wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth at all times. Delivery service workers are required to wear face coverings as well.

 Medical and surgical face masks, such as “N95” masks, are in short supply and should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment. Covering over the nose and mouth may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief or other similar cloth covering.

 The CDC suggests cloth face coverings should:

• Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
• Be secured with ties or ear loops
• Include multiple layers of fabric
• Allow for breathing without restriction
• Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

For more information from the CDC about cloth face coverings, sewn / non-sewn instructions, and shareable PDF versions, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/…/prevent…/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

 The Monroe County directive is as follows:

  1. All essential businesses shall deploy strategies to reduce COVID-19 exposure for their customers and employees including, at a minimum, the following measures effective at 12:01 a.m. on April 8, 2020:
  • Limit capacity and monitor entrances and exits to reduce their maximum occupancy load by 50%.  Businesses that have multiple entrances and exits shall establish a protocol of entrance only and exit only points.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers for use by customers and employees, subject to availability of supplies.
  • Provide disinfecting wipes at points of entrance, cash registers, and/or other appropriate locations, subject to availability of supplies, for customers to disinfect carts, shopping baskets, or point of sale terminals.  In the alternative, essential businesses shall designate staff responsible for disinfecting carts, shopping baskets point of sale terminals, and other areas as frequently as possible.
  • Implement procedures to ensure that both employees and customers remain at least six feet apart at all times.  Such procedures shall include, but are not limited to, marking floors at appropriate intervals to guide lines inside and outside of the business, or providing other visible systems to allow person to maintain proper social distancing.
  • Close all salad bars and other self-serve food stations.
  • Refrain from distributing free samples or conducting tastings.
  • Implement procedures for custodial/janitorial staff to sanitize frequent touchpoints throughout the day, including point of sale terminals at registers, conveyor belts, door handles, door plates, shelves, and other appropriate locations.
  • Comply with the additional requirements and guidelines with respect to the use of personal protective equipment, as set forth below in Section 2.

 

  1. Covering of Nose and Mouth
  • Except as provided herein, effective at 12:01 a.m. on April 8, 2020, all employees and customers of grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, food distribution points, hardware stores and other essential businesses where 10 or more people may be present at the same time, even while social distancing, shall be required to wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth at all times while inside such essential business.  All individuals providing delivery services shall wear a form of covering over their nose and mouth while making deliveries.
  • A covering over the nose and mouth may include a face mask, homemade mask, or other cloth covering, such as a scarf, bandana, handkerchief or other similar cloth covering.
  • In addition to the requirements applicable to the essential business identified in subparagraph a above, all essential businesses are strongly encouraged to wear a form of covering over the nose and mouth as described above.
  • All essential businesses are strongly encouraged to implement other appropriate policies that follow the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Business and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 and other available industry-specific guidance to protect employees and prevent workplace infections. 
  • The requirements of this Section shall not apply to any outdoor activity permitted under any applicable City, County, or State order, except as provided herein with respect to persons providing delivery services.
  • Nothing herein shall operate to restrict any employee or customer from accessing any essential retail or commercial establishment to address any emergency or other exigent circumstance.
  • Medical and surgical face masks, such as “N95” masks, are in short supply and should be reserved for health care personnel and other first responders with the greatest need for such personal protective equipment.  Persons are encouraged to review and comply with the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines on personal protective equipment, including with respect to the use of face masks.
  1. Any person who has been diagnosed, or is reasonably believed to have been infected, with COVID-19 shall separate themselves from all individuals who are not infected to prevent the possible spread of the disease.  Such individuals shall continue to isolate themselves until a health care professional and the state or local Department of Health notifies the individual that he or she are not longer subject to isolation.
  1. This Directive does not affect or limit the operations of Monroe County, any public utility, the Monroe County School District, or any County, State, or Federal office or facility, except that such entities shall abide by the restriction of any County, municipal, State or Federal emergency order, as applicable.
  1. The provisions of this Directive shall serve as minimum standards.
  1. Severability.  Any provision(s) within this Emergency Directive that conflict(s) with any State or Federal law or constitution provision, or conflict(s) with or are superseded by a current or subsequently-issued Executive Order of the Governor or the President of the United States, shall be deemed inapplicable and deemed to be severed from this Emergency Directive, with the remainder of the Emergency Directive remaining intact and in full force and effect.  To the extent application of some or all of the provisions of the Emergency Directive is prohibited on the sovereign land of a federally or state recognized sovereign Indian tribe, such application is expressly excluded from this Emergency Directive.
  1. Effective Date; Duration.  This Directive shall be effective when signed.  This Directive shall expire upon the expiration of the existing State of Local Emergency, and shall otherwise continue as same may be extended by subsequent order or declaration, unless earlier terminated by subsequent Emergency Order.
  1. This Emergency Directive is in addition to the Executive Orders issued by Governor DeSantis and other state or federal agencies.
  1. This directive shall apply countywide except in a municipality which has adopted a stricter measure. 
  1. Enforcement.  Violations of this order may be investigated by the code compliance department for the local government with jurisdiction over the location of the property.  Enforcement action may be taken by any state or local law enforcement agency. 
  1. Violations of this order may be prosecuted by pursuant to F.S. 252.50 with up to 60 days in jail and a maximum of $500 fine per occurrence.
  1. Prior emergency orders remain in force and effect unless modified or superseded