HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa are now requiring people to wear masks inside facilities. This is due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the area.
CITY OF TAMPA
The City of Tampa announced Wednesday that face masks will again be required in all city facilities starting Wednesday, Dec. 29.
"The purpose of this directive is to update safety measures and protocols indoors in the City of Tampa facilities in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the Tampa area due to omicron and delta variants," a city spokesperson said.
All City of Tampa employees will be required to wear face coverings indoors when moving about in common areas and when meeting or interacting with others.
The city said members of the public are also required to wear face masks when entering and when inside a city facility. If anyone refuses to wear a mask, the city will not refuse entry, but will prepare an alternative area or method to deliver the city service in the facility.
The Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center announced on Tuesday that face masks will again be required in all county facilities starting Wednesday, December 29.
In a press release, the county said the change is because COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Hillsborough. According to the county's COVID-19 dashboard, the current transmission level is "high," and Hillsborough County measured a 174% increase in average daily cases by week in the most recent data available.
- Local hospitals prepare for potential surge in hospitalizations in coming weeks
- Top TGH doctor says omicron leading to different symptoms, treatment
- Epidemiologists warn omicron could overwhelm Florida hospitals, urge mitigation
The mask requirement applies to county employees and visitors to county facilities like libraries, recreation centers and Frederick B. Karl County Center. It will also apply to those offering in-person public comments at future Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meetings.
Masks will be required at all times regardless of vaccination status.
The county said those taking part in outdoor activities on county property are advised to follow the most current CDC recommendations.
The measure is being taken as a precaution for the health and safety of county employees as well as residents, the press release said.
According to the directive, some children are exempt from the mask requirement:
- Children under five years old
- Children under 13 years old when the CDC’s recommendations for social distancing protocols are in place and group size limitations of 20 are included in the programming design
- Children with physical or intellectual disabilities that restrict the proper wearing of a face covering
Read the full Administrative Directive below.