Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

State Appeals Court Refuses To Reconsider Alachua Mask Mandate Fight

A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, refused a request by Alachua County for a rehearing. The court did not explain its reasons.

A divided state appeals court has refused to reconsider a decision that raised questions about the constitutionality of a move last year by Alachua County to require people to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, refused a request by Alachua County for a rehearing.

The court did not explain its reasons.

The July 16 decision came about a month after the same panel overturned a May 2020 ruling by Circuit Judge Donna Keim that allowed Alachua County to keep in place the mask requirement.

Justin Green, who operates a nursery business, challenged the mask requirement and went to the Tallahassee-based appeals court after Keim refused to grant a temporary injunction.

In a 2-1 ruling June 11, the appellate panel said Keim did not properly consider Green’s privacy rights. The majority stopped short of declaring the Alachua County requirement unconstitutional but sent the case back to the lower court.

In seeking a rehearing at the appeals court, Alachua County argued that the case was moot because Gov. Ron DeSantis this spring issued an executive order that blocked local governments from requiring masks. Also, the Legislature passed a measure (SB 2006) that places sharp restrictions on local emergency orders.