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Posted on: September 28, 2020

Phase 3 Re-opening leads to changes in City policy on face coverings

Phase 3 Reopening

Health and safety remain paramount 

The City of St. Augustine continues to encourage all residents and visitors to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and wash their hands; however, in accordance with  Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order No. 20-244, issued September 25, 2020, the City of St. Augustine has issued Administrative Order 2020-15relating to Public Health Emergency 20-51 (COVID) and State of Emergency 20-52. 

“We recognize the time has come to proceed with Phase 3 of the reopening strategy throughout the state,” commented City Manager John Regan.  “At this stage of the pandemic, businesses and dining establishments can operate confidently knowing that we continue to support and encourage their individual policies regarding masks.”  

As it pertains to participating in public meetings and assemblies, the city has adopted Rules of Decorum and other protocols that are enforceable pursuant to law.  Based on current CDC guidelines, best practices, and local conditions, the following Health and Safety Protocols will apply to all in-person public meetings and hearings: 

  1. All meeting rooms will be configured to maintain the 6-foot social distancing radius recommended by the CDC. 
  2. All meeting rooms will be sanitized by wiping all flat surfaces and chairs prior to each meeting.  
  3. All members of the public, City Commission, staff, and appointed boards or committees are required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth at all times while in the meeting room. If necessary, a face covering may be lowered in order to be audible while actively speaking but must replace the face covering over nose and mouth immediately after speaking. 
  4. Face masks and hand sanitizer will be made available as needed prior to entry. 
  5. Face coverings include a uniform piece of material that securely covers a person’s nose and mouth and remains affixed in place without the use of one’s hands. Types of coverings include a face mask, homemade mask, or other covering, such as a scarf, bandanna, handkerchief, or other similar cloth covering or full-face shields. 
  6. Participants requesting accommodation due to a disability which prevents the use of face coverings may use alternative face coverings.  Alternative face coverings include scarves, other loose face covering, or full-face shield. 
  7. Participants unable to wear a face covering will be required to remain outside of the meeting hall where they may audibly observe the meeting or hearing. Participants will be allowed to participate in any public comment period and will be escorted to the podium and must exit the room after comment. 
  8. Capacity for physical attendance within The Alcazar Room will be reduced based on the 6-foot social distancing.  Physical attendance will be prioritized as follows until maximum capacity is reached: 
    • Commission Members 
    • City Attorney 
    • City Manager  
    • City Clerk 
    • Necessary staff 
    • Applicants (one at a time) 
    • Public participants  
  9. Applicants appearing before a board for hearing will be asked to queue outside the meeting room and enter with any witnesses or agents upon the calling of their application for hearing. 

Read Administrative Order 2020-15

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