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Florida Department of Health Highlights Recent Public Health Advisory

Staff Writer
Washington County News

TALLAHASSEE — This week, the Florida Department of Health (Department) issued an additional Public Health Advisory in response to COVID-19, providing recommendations to protect Floridians and visitors from this virus. This advisory is in addition to steps that the Department has taken to increase mitigation measures, including the purchase of more than 14 million cloth masks, which are actively being distributed statewide and an expanded statewide Public Service Announcement Campaign, which encourages Floridians to avoid the Three Cs:

- Closed Spaces. Avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation that could allow contagious droplets to linger in the air.

- Crowded Places. Avoid crowded places with many people nearby; the greater the number of individuals in an area, the greater the chances of COVID-19 spreading from person-to-person.

- Close-Contact Settings. Avoid close-range conversations and stay at least six-feet from others.

The Public Health Advisory provides the following recommendations:

All individuals in Florida should wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in any setting where social distancing is not possible, both indoors and outdoors, unless any of the following apply:

– A child is under two years of age;

– An individual has one or more medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering;

– An individual is obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;

– An individual works in a profession where use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession; or

– An individual is engaged in outdoor work or recreation with appropriate social distancing.

– Businesses and organizations are encouraged to require individuals who enter the premises to wear a face covering.

All individuals should refrain from participation in social or recreational gatherings of more than 10 people. For all gatherings of fewer than 10 people, individuals should practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from each other and wearing a face covering.

This is a reinforcement of the previously issued advisory as well as direction that has been provided in the task force report for a Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery.

Click here to review this Public Health Advisory.

Currently all counties except Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach are in Phase 2, which dictates:


– May operate at fifty percent of the establishment’s indoor capacity.

– May operate at full capacity outside with appropriate social distancing.

– Bar areas may operate with seated service.


– DBPR Amended Order 2020-09 limits on-premises alcohol sales to businesses that hold a DBPR food service license at the location where alcoholic beverages are sold. Alcoholic beverage vendors that do not hold a DBPR food service license are not permitted to offer alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption but may continue offering packaged sales for consumption off the premises. Nightclubs remain closed.

Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades:

– May operate at fifty percent of the establishment’s capacity with appropriate social distancing between groups and proper sanitization protocols.

In-store retail businesses:

– May operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing measures and proper sanitization protocols.

Gyms and fitness centers:

– May operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitization.

– Personal services including but not limited to tattooing, body piercing, tanning and massage:

– May operate while adhering to appropriate safety guidelines outlined by the Florida Department of Health.

Barber shops, hair salons and nail salons:

– May continue to operate while adhering to safety protocols.

Phase 2 continued emphasis on preventative measures outlined by the CDC and OSHA:

Senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Individuals should avoid gathering in groups larger than 50.

All persons who work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 on a routine basis.

Museums and libraries:

May operate at up to fifty percent capacity if permitted by local governments.

Gyms and fitness centers:

May operate at up to fifty percent capacity with appropriate social distancing and sufficient sanitization measures.