Fernandina Beach continues mandatory face covering to combat covid virus

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
October 7, 2020


At their October 6, 2020 Regular Meeting, the Fernandina Beach City Commission adopted Resolution 2020-143 extending until November 6, 2020, the City’s state of emergency which requiries face coverings or masks in public places.

Commissioner Chip Ross, whose careeer has been in emergency room medicine, said that he has remained healthy among his patients by doing three things: wearing a mask, washing his hands and keeping a distance from others. He emphasized that while these moves don’t guarantee safety, they are in the forefront for prevention of illness.

Commissioner Mike Lednovich said, “Anyone who has been paying attention to the national news over the past week understands the importance of wearing a face mask and how quickly this virus can spread in social circumstances. The County Health Director has said that this is one leg of a 3-legged stool. The other legs, as Commissioner Ross said, are washing your hands and social distancing.”

“We are all protectors of each other’s health,” Lednovich said. “The mask protects someone else, not you. And so that’s why we are doing this. We all realize that this depends on volunteer compliance, because we are not going around writing up violations. But we’re making it mandatory because we want people to wear face masks.”

Vice Mayor Len Kreger added, “This is one of the few actions that has not been preempted by the state where we can still make an effort to protect our population. The responsibility is on individuals, but as a government, we continue to take the position that masks are required.”

Ross said that he would somewhat disagree with Lednovich. “When I go into a room I am wearing a mask for two reasons: to protect myself and to protect others. I think that any emergency room doctor will not go into a room without a mask.”

Lednovich asked that the City take measures to clean the lectern after speakers finish their remarks.

The FBCC will consider another extension of this mandate at their November 4, 2020 meeting.

Nassau County has lifted its mandatory face covering order.

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