COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus.

Alachua County released an updated COVID-19 emergency order Sunday that loosened restrictions on local operations.

According to the county’s press release, the occupancy limit for businesses increased to one person per 500 square feet. Restaurants may also open sit-in dining at 25 percent capacity, but customers and employees must follow social distancing procedures.

Places of public assembly, such as playgrounds, movie theaters and social clubs remain closed, the release read. Gatherings of 10 or more people will still be ordered to disperse by law enforcement.

Workers and visitors to places where social distancing is not possible, such as restaurants, grocery stores and public transit, are required to wear face coverings, masks that cover the nose and mouth and are secured by ear loops or ties.

Any violation of the emergency order is considered a second degree misdemeanor, as detailed in the updated order. Consequences for violations will be determined by law enforcement.

Masks aren’t required while eating or drinking, the release read. Children under 2 and people with trouble breathing because of preexisting conditions are also exempt from wearing masks.

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