Curry extends Jacksonville mask mandate for 30 more days

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry watches a high school football football scrimmage between the Bolles Bulldogs and Bishop Kenny Crusaders at Skinner-Barco Stadium in Jacksonville, FL, Friday September 4, 2020. (Ralph D. Priddy, For News4Jax, News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mayor Lenny Curry has extended a mask mandate for Jacksonville for another 30 days, a city spokesperson confirmed to News4Jax on Monday.

The order mandates masks indoors for people over 6 years old when they are unable to practice social distancing.

The order would have expired Sunday if not for the extension. Curry initially issued the mask mandate in June, after first saying he didn’t think mandates were prudent.

The order comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday announced the state is moving into Phase 3 of reopening. While the phase means fewer restrictions for restaurants and bars, it also there will also be a suspension of collecting fines or fees for restrictions like not wearing a mask, though there has never been a financial penalty for not wearing a mask in Jacksonville.

DeSantis has refused to mandate face coverings statewide, instead leaving it up to local officials.

The order will continue the mandate for Duval County until Oct. 27. Curry can then decide if he wants to extend it further.

Florida Politics reported Monday that a challenge to Jacksonville’s mask mandate that was filed by Rep. Anthony Sabatini in July on behalf of Jacksonville businessman Jason French was rejected by Duval County Circuit Court Judge Katie Dearing.

More than 30,000 cases of COVID-19 and 379 deaths have been reported in Duval County since the outbreak began.

The number of cases has been trending down of late, with 57 new cases reported in Jacksonville Monday, the lowest number for the city since June 15, data shows.

St. Augustine and Nassau County, which also had mask mandates, rescinded theirs. City of St. Augustine Commissioners said they rescinded their mandate to comply with Governor DeSantis' move into Phase 3.