FMB Mask Mandate To Continue TFN

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Councilman Dan Allers said he wanted to address “the elephant in the room” last night at the town council meeting. That elephant was the mask mandate that’s been in place on Fort Myers Beach for over 2 months now. Lee County COVID numbers have been steadily declining without a mask mandate.

The county has been educating residents on the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and handwashing. They have not implemented any mandates.

When the Fort Myers Beach mask mandate was approved, without public comment from residents, Allers and councilman Jim Atterholt voted against. Vice Mayor Rexann Hosafros, Councilman Bill Veach and Mayor Ray Murphy voted in favor.

Last night both Hosafras and Veach said it was too early to lift the ban. Murphy, who’s picture was posted on Facebook in close proximity to others while fishing, not wearing a mask, took his argument for maintaining the mask mandate a step further. He said, he’s read the arguments that the (COVID) rates have come down in Lee County without a mask mandate. “I know all the comments that are going to be made right now and I don’t really care. So I am going to tell you, of course they came down because everyone is wearing the masks.”

Murphy also addressed comments being made on social media (although he did not specify where) that ‘you don’t need to tell the people of Fort Myers Beach to wear a mask, they know better.’ “Who says we’re telling the people of Fort Myers Beach. We had people, at the time, who were coming from the hottest spots in the country and state coming here on a continuous basis and still are. So I say keep wearing the masks.  That’s what I say.”

Point of clarification. The Fort Myers Beach mask mandate is not only for visitors coming from hot spots. Residents and business employees are also required to wear masks, even outside, when social distancing is not possible. Businesses can be hit with a $500 fine if they are caught violating the mandate.

The Mayor continued. “They can call me all the names that they call me and everything else. That’s just the way I feel. The masks are working, they are working. They are keeping things down. They are keeping the people in Publix serving us every day safe, CVS, all the other stores, restaurants, they are keeping them safe. They may complain about them. It’s an inconvenience to wear them during the day, I’m sorry about that but this is a public health issue. It’s not a political issue. It’s not all this crying business on Facebook that’s out there. It’s a health issue and it’s working. Until they come up with a real solution for this virus these are the only methods we have. It’s working. You are not going to convince me otherwise.”

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Is there an end date to the mask mandate? How is this Constitutional? There was no resident input, and a 3/2 vote. Shouldn’t it have been a super majority to pass this? We need to get an attorney and end this insanity.

  2. So if the mask mandates are constitutional, why has Biden rolled back his idea of a nation-wide mask mandate saying it would be unconstitutional?

  3. How can the Mayor actually believe that a mask mandate on Fort Myers Beach is responsible for keeping the Lee County numbers down?! When Lee County doesn’t even have a mask mandate. And his comment about the numbers coming down because “everyone” is wearing mask is way off base. No, not everyone is wearing masks, not even close. Not even the people that approved the mandate.

  4. I’m tired of the argument from mask worshipers and mask haters because there is too much unknown or conflicting reports to be conclusive. What isn’t so debatable is that the Council’s order made private citizens responsible for policing their order.. Here are experts from an active class action lawsuit in Lincoln NE that perfectly explains this issue and I wish the Council would be reasonable by calling a meeting to discuss removing this section of their order:

    “The role of business is not to serve as a posse for government enforcement of the law. The City cannot force, under the threat of criminal prosecution and closure, businesses to exercise police power that they do not inherently possess.”

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