Friday afternoon, Osceola County enacted a local order requiring anyone who ventures out in public, for any reason, must cover their faces with a makeshift mask, cloth or material covering the nose and mouth that stays in place without being held by a hand.

You have the weekend to find what you’re using; the order goes into effect 12:01 a.m. Monday and will stay in place until revoked.

Here’s a closer look at the local order, which has noted exceptions.

It applies to “Every person working, living, visiting or doing business in Osceola County … while in any public place,” but there are exceptions. You don’t need a face covering if:

  • You are under two years old
  • A face covering would cause “impairment due to an existing health condition”
  • You work in a profession without any face-to-face interactions with the public
  • You work in a profession where the use of a face covering “will not be compatible with the duties of the profession”
  • You are exercising (while observing CDC social distancing guidelines)

Coverings can be made out of a bandana, or a handkerchief, neckerchief or thin folded t-shirt with rubber bands at folds to hold it to your face. Osceola County government’s website has a link to a CDC page showing how to make a simple one out of a bandana and coffee filter.

A few things to keep in mind about your face coverings:

  • Make sure you can breathe through it
  • Wear it whenever going out in public
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
  • Wash it after using
  • Don’t use surgical masks or other PPE intended for healthcare workers

This isn’t easy, Osceola County, but the more we heed these guidelines, the shorter time we’ll have to do it, and the sooner we’ll be able to get our business back open, our children back in school … and our lives back to a ‘normal’ we can comprehend. Stay positive, Osceola!