Pinellas: Commission passes emergency ordinance requiring face coverings, other COVID-19 safety measures:
- Citizens must wear face coverings in most indoor places, with exceptions.
- Emergency ordinance covers entire county including the city of Clearwater.
- Restaurants, bars must spread out patrons, prevent congregating and only serve seated patrons.
The ordinance defines a face covering as a material that covers the nose and mouth and remains affixed or a face shield. A cloth face covering, or mask, may be factory-made or sewn by hand and can be improvised from clothing or other household fabric items.
Citizens must wear a face covering while in most indoor public places within Pinellas County, although the Board provided several exceptions. Among them:
- The mandate cannot conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- It does not apply if a person is strictly adhering to social distancing and there are 10 or fewer people in the location who are also maintaining social distancing.
- It does not apply to governmental entities such as schools, courthouses or city halls, although those entities are encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public.
- If a person is under age 18, that person’s use of a face covering is left to the discretion of that person’s parent, guardian or an accompanying adult.
- Religious rituals such as various forms of singing are permitted provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
- Exercising while social distancing, such as in a gym, is permitted without a face covering.
Restaurant and bar staff must wear a face covering while on duty and while directly or indirectly preparing food or beverage, or serving food or beverage, or having customer contact, regardless of where the food or beverage is being prepared or whether the customers are inside or outside. Customers can remove their face coverings while dining or consuming a beverage when seated and social distancing.
Restaurants and bars must position chairs and tables so that parties of one or more are separated by six feet and patrons are not standing at the bar or congregating in any area.
Retail employees must wear face coverings unless working in an area of the business that is not open to the customers and has social distancing measures in place.
The Board elected to adopt the emergency order by ordinance to allow it to be enforced as a non-criminal local ordinance violation, in addition to other enforcement remedies. Remedies include:
- A warning.
- A non-criminal ordinance violation citation that levies a fine.
- Injunctive relief through a complaint filed in Circuit Court.
- Misdemeanor arrest or a Notice to Appear for Repeat Violations.
Learn more about face coverings from the Center for Disease Control:
Cloth face masks will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call the location before you go to make sure they still have masks available. Supplies are limited and will be replenished as often as possible.
Clearwater Library – Main Branch
100 N Osceola Ave., Clearwater
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. & 3 to 6 p.m.
Friday – Sunday: 12 noon to 2 p.m. & 3 to 5 p.m.
Highpoint Neighborhood Family Center
5812 150th Ave. N., Clearwater
Monday- Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center
1108 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Clearwater
Tuesdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (including Friday, July 3).
Dunedin Public Library
223 Douglas Ave., Dunedin
Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. to noon, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (closed one hour, twice a day for cleaning)
49th Street Neighborhood Center
1617 49th St. S., Gulfport
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gulfport Casino Ballroom
5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport
Monday – Friday: 1 to 8 p.m.
Largo Public Library
120 Central Park Dr., Largo
Monday – Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Palm Harbor Library
2330 Nebraska Ave., Palm Harbor
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
East Lake Community Library
4125 East Lake Rd. S., Palm Harbor
Monday - Wednesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday: Noon to 8 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Barbara S. Ponce Public Library
7770 52nd St. N., Pinellas Park
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 2 to 7 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m.to 1 p.m. & 2 to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Seminole Community Library at St. Petersburg College
9200 113th St. N., Seminole
Monday – Wednesday: 9 to 11 a.m., 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m.
Thursday: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., 3 to 5 p.m., 6 to 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 1 to 3 p.m.
5175 45th St N, St. Petersburg
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed on July 3
Prayer Tower COGIC
1137 37th St. S., St. Petersburg
Wednesday, July 8: 1 to 4 p.m. (while supplies last)
(727) 418-5908 or (727) 550-6022
Tarpon Springs Public Library
138 E. Lemon St., Tarpon Springs
July 1 & 2: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 3 to 6 p.m.
Closed on July 3, 4 & 5
Effective July 6
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 2 to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. & 2 to 5 p.m.
The Gulf Beaches Public Library
200 Municipal Dr., Madeira Beach
Monday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pinellas County Face Covering Ordinance 20-14 Frequently Asked Questions
Am I now required to wear a face covering everywhere I go?
All county residents must wear a face covering while in most indoor public places within Pinellas County, although the Board provided several exceptions.
What places and activities are exempt from the face covering requirement?
Activities such as the following can take place without wearing a face covering:
- Attending or participating in religious rituals, such as various forms of singing, provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
- Exercising while social distancing, such as when walking on the trail or working out at a gym.
The requirement also does not apply if a person is strictly adhering to social distancing and there are 10 or fewer people in the location who are also maintaining social distancing.
I or someone I know has medical issues that affect the ability to wear a face covering. What happens in those situations?
Individuals with a medical issue that prevents wearing a face covering are not required to wear one, although they may consider other forms of protection such as a face shield. The application of the ordinance also cannot conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
What about schools and government buildings?
Those facilities are exempt. However, governmental entities such as schools, courthouses or city halls and other similar entities are encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public based on their respective needs. It is recommended that you check before going to any of those locations so you are aware of any specific requirements.
What about children and other people under the age of 18 – are they required to wear a face covering?
If a person is under age 18, that person’s use of a face covering is left to the discretion of that person’s parent, guardian or an accompanying adult.
Do I have to bring my face covering when going out to dinner or for drinks at a restaurant or bar?
Yes, you must wear a face covering when visiting bars and restaurant, except for when you’re actually dining or consuming a beverage. You must also maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from other parties. You must also not congregate in groups of more than 10 people.
Will restaurant and bar employees be required to wear face coverings?
Yes, every employee preparing or serving food or beverage, or having customer contact, must wear a face covering indoors and outdoors.
Can I stand at the bar and get served?
No. Staff may only serve customers who are seated. Serving patrons only when seated will help maintain social distancing and prevent standing groups from congregating without the proper distancing.