New Mask Orders to Take Effect in California, Florida

June 18, 2020, 5:47 PM · Orange County, it's time to do better.

That was the message delivered on both coasts of the United States this afternoon, as California's governor and the mayor of Orange County, Florida each issued executive orders mandating the use of face masks while in public.

The Florida order will apply to area around the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resorts, which already had announced their own mandatory-face-mask rules. California's order applies statewide, which encompasses Disneyland, Universal Studios Florida, Knott's Berry Farm, SeaWorld San Diego, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom, Legoland Florida, and California's Great America.

Most of those parks also had issued their own face mask requirements. But the new orders apply to all businesses - as well as any other public space. The only exceptions will be for children ages two and under, those with conditions that make it impossible to wear a mask, and people exercising outdoors while maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet away from anyone else.

Governor Gavin Newsom's order came after California's Orange County - which is home to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm - last week rescinded its countywide mask order, in an ugly scene that included the resignation of the county's health officer. Today's order effectively reverses that decision, as Orange County, California will be under the new, statewide rule.

Covid-19 cases have been increasing in California and Florida - as well as in Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, and other states across the country - as millions of Americans let their guard down getting out of the house and frequenting indoor businesses while not wearing masks. Recent research has suggested that the spread of the disease could be slowed dramatically if people would just wear masks when outside the home.

The alternatives if more people don't start wearing masks more often are either to return to stricter stay-at-home orders, meaning the re-closing of stores, restaurants, and yes, theme parks, or to accept a continued escalation in infections, which would result in an increasing death rate as many communities are seeing the number of Covid-19 patients needing ICU care approach the number of available beds.

Unless people are sociopaths, there really shouldn't be any controversy here. Find your inner Batman (okay, Iron Man is a better example) or Spider-Man, mask up like a superhero, and let's beat this thing.

Replies (9)

June 18, 2020 at 6:20 PM

Agreed and well said! Public officials have to give the ultimatum as was expressed here. No face masks, things go back to being closed. If you dont like wearing a face mask, then stay home. Lot of people have the "I aint afraid of no virus" or "I dont have it"... well its not about you, its for society in general. Nobody likes wearing a mask, but this is life in 2020. Stay safe folks.

June 18, 2020 at 6:39 PM

I watched the newscast live and I thought Demmings and Dyer came across very well. They clearly indicated they are not going to mess around any more. Basically you do this, or we're going to shut things down. Good on them. I also liked the way Demmings basically stuck the finger up to DeSantis. It's good to see Orange county being serious about this. I do wear my mask out in public, but I'm also going to start to wear it at work now, even though we are a large office with few people, so can easily maintain the 6ft minimum.

Also, one point of interest you didn't mention Robert. Over the last couple of weeks, with the cases rapidly increasing, the average age for a positive test is 29 ... earlier during the pandemic, it was in the 60's.

A big cluster was found in the vicinity of UCF. What a surprise ?? ... not !!

I've floated the idea of Disney not opening, and if things don't improve, then I see it becoming more of a real possibility.

Everything is in the hands of us Orange county residents now. We have been warned in no uncertain manner.

June 18, 2020 at 6:50 PM

Not sure masks will make a difference at this point. DeSantis news conference earlier this week indicated median age of those tested is way down, and a number of those people are being forced to get tested to return to work despite showing no symptoms, yet they test positive. Leaders introducing mask mandates will likely need to make sure that testing numbers trend way down in 3 weeks with these new mandates, otherwise we might see surface contamination (again), or god forbid flatulence, given as the reason for increases in spite of mask mandates.

June 18, 2020 at 10:39 PM

Makes me happy that in Illinois, our governor has been strict on shelters from Mid March, and still holding to masks in businesses and public. Given we have the third-largest city in the country, the fact our numbers are declining shows this was working, a shame other states didn't get that.

June 19, 2020 at 12:23 AM

There's a Universal Studios Florida and Legoland Florida in California? Who knew? ;o)

I guess this means Fun Spot's now gonna have to enforce a mask policy for their Orlando park (the Kissimmee location had one since reopening). Now that Legoland will be the only park in Florida that doesn't require masks, I wonder if they'll feel the pressure to adapt a policy of their own.

June 19, 2020 at 8:15 AM

For me it's simple courtesy and common sense, yet so many among us feel that defying health department recommendations is a way to make a political statement. If you wouldn't walk around in public not wearing pants, then why wouldn't you be decent enough to cover your nose and mouth given the current pandemic conditions?

June 19, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Sociopath here. I wear masks when required by law or individual businesses. Having said that, I will continue to point out that, despite the recent spike in cases in some states like Florida and California, the number of deaths have remained steady for a month, so it is not a case of a spike in deaths coming two weeks after a spike in cases. Florida has been averaging 30 deaths a day, and California 70. Media loves to glorify the number of cases, but only mention deaths when a milestone is reached.

While the above is based upon hard data, my next statement is pure opinion. Here I n the summer months is the time to increase herd immunity when symptoms are less severe. A second wave is going to happen no matter what steps are being taken right now. When you couple a second COVID wave with the annual flu season, hospitals are going to be hit hard.

June 20, 2020 at 6:58 AM

Hold drink = get out of mask card

June 21, 2020 at 10:04 PM

If you are not willing to wear a mask at the parks don't go. No parks are forcing you to go there, and if you are going to try and skirt their rules they would much rather not have you there, all you're going to do is cause issues. Also what you said isn't even true.

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