Walton County discusses possible mask mandate


WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB)– As COVID-19 cases rise in Walton County, residents are anxious to see if a mask mandate will be put in place.

Although, Walton County Commissioners are delaying making any decision for a mask order until their next meeting on July 28. 

Many residents gave their opinion at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on July 14.

“I feel like we need to take action and protect the citizens of our community, and according to folks out there there are only a few things that we are able to do,” said Samantha Herring, a resident that submitted the citizen’s request to the Walton County Commissioners.

Herring requested for the commissioners to create a mask mandate within Walton County. 

She thinks by wearing masks and social distancing, people will be safer in the area, and so will the tourists coming in.

“Look into considering an ordinance,” Herring said. “Like other communities, have here in Florida.”

Joe Williamson another resident of Walton County, had some concerns.

“I would like to see a study that shows this mask, homemade by friends, prevents the spread of illness,” said Williamson.

Williamson said if masks have to be in place to prevent the spread, an N-95 type mask should be required.

“If the county is going to mandate masks, then mandate a mask that is actually proven to prevent the spread of a virus,” Williamson said.

In Walton County, Seaside has mandated masks for all visitors to enter stores. Michah Davis, a Seaside employee, said focusing on what Seaside has done, is not enough.

“If we institute this mask policy, it will drive customers away or we will keep people from coming here and prevent revenue from coming in,” Davis said. “But we have not found that to be the case.”  

Chris Topher, another resident said he does not want his rights taken away.

“There are a lot of scared people out there, they want you to tell the rest of us that are not scared to be scared with them,” Topher said.

After many residents spoke about a possible mask mandate, Commissioners decided they will officially decide upon at a later date. 

They are waiting to get more information from their county attorney.

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