Charlotte County passes resolution encouraging wearing of masks

In the third discussion about facemasks, Charlotte County Commissioners decided to pass a resolution recommending businesses to require masks.

In the previous discussions, a face mask mandate was voted down. But the new resolution is not a mandate. Think of it more as a strong suggestion.

The resolution states “Every person living, working, visiting or doing business in unincorporated Charlotte County, including government buildings, shall, in the absence, of social distancing, wear a face covering in any indoor location, other than a home or residence.”

Wearing a mask outdoors is talked about as well, where social distancing is also encouraged.

Vielka Wambold of Port Charlotte says she’s been wearing her mask for months now and almost thinks of it as an accessory at this point. “I have masks in my car, I have masks in my purse,  I see them now as an accessory,” Wambold said.

She also understands that wearing her masks helps others, too. “I could not just save my own life, but also save my family’s life, or somebody else,” said Wambold.

That’s what commissioners are trying to stress in Charlotte County, that wearing a mask helps everyone.

“We’re trying to get folks to understand that it’s not about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting each other,” said Dr. Christopher Constance, a Charlotte County Commissioner.

The resolution commissioners approved Tuesday also recommends businesses have customers wear masks when not social distancing. The county will also be distributing signs for businesses to put at their entrances.

While it does go into effect immediately, there are no fines if businesses or customers don’t follow the recommendation.

” I believe it is a waste of time because it is a do-nothing resolution. If the commissioners, they thought that was the thing to do, they should’ve taken that route the first time around,” said Susan Hutt, another Port Charlotte resident.

The resolution will be in effect until the county’s local state of emergency expires. While it can be rescinded, some hope the resolution becomes a county ordinance.

“Baby steps. That is the way I see it, baby steps,” said Wambold.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Drew Hill
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