Gov. DeSantis Extends Florida's Ban on Local Mask Fines and Business Closures

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Posted: Nov 25, 2020 4:45 PM
Gov. DeSantis Extends Florida's Ban on Local Mask Fines and Business Closures

Source: AP Photo/Brendan Farrington

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has extended his September executive order banning local governments from fining individuals for not wearing face masks and closing down businesses without proper health data to justify the closures, according to a new report

"[T]he State of Florida continues to suffer economic harm as a result of COVID19 related closures, exacerbating the impacts of the State of Emergency, and Floridians should not be prohibited by local governments from working or operating a business," reads the order signed by the governor on Tuesday. The extension remains so long as the governor's state of emergency remains in effect. 

Tuesday's order also moves Florida into "phase 3" of the state's reopening, allowing restaurants, bars, and salons to reopen at full capacity. 

Gov. DeSantis is bucking the trend as other governors are rolling back reopening plans and initiating another round of punitive lockdown restrictions. 

While DeSantis has not commented on his Tuesday order, the governor released a video on Wednesday touting the new breakthroughs in the fight against the Wuhan coronavirus, such as the FDA's recent granting of an emergency use authorization for drugmaker Regeneron's cocktail of two antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab, which appears to be effective for those with mild to moderate symptoms. It's the same antibody treatment that President Trump received shortly after being diagnosed with the virus and credited with his speedy recovery. 

The governor also touted other treatments and promising news of vaccines expected to be available in just a matter of weeks. DeSantis said that in the state of Florida elderly individuals and those most at-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 will be prioritized for vaccination.