Collier County drops case against Alfie Oakes over mask enforcement

Published: March 25, 2021 6:12 PM EDT

Collier County has ended its legal battle with business owner Alfie Oakes over his store’s repeated violations of the county’s mask order.

His business, Seed to Table, made national headlines after videos went viral of customers and employees in his store, hardly a mask in sight.

So, what about the mask mandate? Will it go away like Collier’s fight with Oakes?

Oakes previously called COVID-19 a hoax and said he would never require his employees or customers to wear masks.

“We’ve been hugging and kissing and doing the things that we are born to do,” he said.

Oakes said he didn’t worry about the fines imposed against him related to the county’s mask ordinance.

“I expected it; you know, they didn’t have a case.”

Commissioners voted unanimously earlier this week to stop the fight because the governor’s order canceling all mask fines basically made the case moot.

Commissioner Penny Taylor said she thinks it was the right move.

I think it was the most pragmatic decision we could possibly make because of the governor’s actions, which pretty much nullified any kind of action on a local level.”

But with Oakes’ store unmasked, what about the rest of the county?

“The mandate is due to expire on April 13, and I do believe it is going to expire,” Taylor said.

Unless one of the commissioners puts the mask discussion on the agenda, it will expire as scheduled.