FLORIDA COVID-19 reporting from BocaNewsNow.com


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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A review of citations and violations filed with the Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts reveals a stunning fact in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: no one is being cited for violating the facial covering order in Palm Beach County.

But if you have an open container, park over a yellow line, or panhandle, police will spend time writing a citation, running a background check for open warrants, and then going to court if you contest the citation.

On July 15th, the last full day of violations logged by the Clerk’s office, at least six people in Palm Beach County were charged with violating open container laws, including a person in Delray Beach. Delray Beach was mocked nationally last week as video of clueless, maskless people on Atlantic Avenue went viral.

Also on July 15th, several “animal” violations were issued — often for people who violated leash laws. Five panhandling-related citations were also issued.

But no citations were issued for failure to comply with the Palm Beach County executive order mandating mask use, raising serious questions as to whether this is an order without enforcement.

While not suggesting that any law should be broken, these facts raise questions about just how serious Mayor David Kerner, Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth, Commissioners Hal Valeche, Gregg Weiss, Mary Lou Berger, Melissa McKinlay and Mack Bernard really are in stopping COVID-19. There has been no countywide mandate to order police officers to issue citations. While the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office patrols a significant portion of Palm Beach County, BocaNewsNow.com has learned that local municipalities are watching what PBSO does. If PBSO doesn’t enforce, local police departments won’t either. For now, PBSO is not enforcing the mask order.

In Miami-Dade County, police have been instructed to issue $50-$100 tickets to people who refuse to wear masks.

In Broward County, curfews are in effect and a public database lists every complaint filed against a business for alleged COVID-19 violations.

But in Palm Beach County, police haven’t been told to do anything. There is no public listing of businesses violating facial covering and other orders. There is no consequence for not wearing a mask.


Paul Saperstein


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