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Sarasota's City Commission has extended the city's public mask ordinance through Oct. 28 to prevent community spread of the novel coronavirus, especially as schools and colleges begin to reopen. Medical experts continue cite regular hand washing, social distancing and wearing a face covering as top ways to reduce transmission and contamination.

The city requires face coverings indoors, when citizens can't physically stay 6 feet away from other people, as well as in outdoor public spaces where social distancing isn't possible. City leadership says its code enforcement staff will initially enforce the ordinance and issue citations only when necessary; a violation of the mask requirement is a civil, non-criminal infraction, which carries a $50 fine if the violation is uncontested and could result in a penalty of up to $500 if the violation is contested.

Exemptions include children under the age of 18, non-city government agencies and offices, and the inside of schools or daycares (which may pre-existing rules for face coverings). For more information, click here.

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