Emergency Action and Short-Term Emergency Order Extended

At their Tuesday, August 24, 2021 Regular Meeting, the Alachua County Commission voted unanimously to extend both their Emergency Action, declaring a Local State of Emergency, and their Short-Term Emergency Order, requiring masking indoors in businesses. As with the initial Order, this renewal is in reaction to the alarming and dangerous spike in COVID-19 cases and the enormous strain on our residents, businesses, hospitals personnel, and first responders.

Changes in the Order include:

  • Raising the masking age from 2 years old to under six years old
  • Transitioning from a strictly educational effort to the ability to issue citations​
  • Delivering signs to businesses that emphasize proper mask usage



In speaking of the Commission’s actions, Chair Ken Cornell made the following statement:

I left our meeting with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am grateful to my fellow commissioners for supporting this action, our healthcare professionals and first responders, who have shouldered the brunt of this COVID-19 resurgence, and our County employees, who have not missed a beat in providing services as they pivot and adjust to the pandemic. Most of all, I am grateful for our citizens and business owners, whose actions will ultimately determine when we get this virus back under control. I am thankful to our residents who have gotten the vaccine, slipped on a mask, and helped those whose lives have been devastated by COVID. I am grateful for our business owners, who have sometimes taken heat for asking employees and customers to mask up. No single tool in fighting this pandemic is perfect. Collectively, all of the tools represent our best defense. I am grateful that the vast majority of our county residents have, without complaint, done their part when asked to help us deploy these tools.

Order provisions include:

  • A face mask shall be worn in all indoor places when there are more than two people present. This requirement excludes private residences or spaces occupied by a single-family unit.
  • Masks shall cover the mouth and nose and loop securely around the head or ears. 
  • An employer shall not prevent its employees from wearing face masks in accordance with the recommendations of OSHA and this Order. 

Signs for businesses are available here:



For more information, contact Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton at 352-264-6979 or msexton@alachuacounty.us.

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