Face masks will now be required when entering a business in Hillsborough County.
The county's Emergency Policy Group adopted the ordinance on a vote of 5-3 Monday after more than two hours of debate.
Non-compliance with the ordinance could result in misdemeanor charges. Sheriff Chad Chronister, who voted against it, warned compliance could put a strain on the county's law enforcement agencies.
An attempt to remove the criminal penalty failed after county attorney Christine Beck said it would turn the ordinance into a "strong suggestion" to wear masks.
It comes as COVID-19 cases in the county are rising quickly. Before the vote, the group heard from representatives from the county's hospitals about the possible impact of rising cases.
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