ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A local lawmaker and Orange County businessman filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging that the executive order requiring Orange County residents to wear face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 is unconstitutional and infringes on residents’ rights.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings put the mask order into effect as of Saturday. The order states that residents must wear masks in public, except in certain circumstances which are outlined here.
On Monday, COVID-19 cases in the county hit 5,000 with more than 100,000 positive cases reported in the state.
“We have a loud and unapologetic message that we have to send to the elected officials of Orange County, and that is this: that you have to follow the law and follow the constitution and not invade the private rights of people,” Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini said in a news conference Monday.
Sabatini described the mandatory mask order as “illegal” and “utter nonsense.”
Carl Jackson, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the order makes it difficult to do his job as a businessman and entrepreneur.
“They’re trying to use COVID-19 to infringe on our rights,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s legal team said they want Orange County to change the mandate to allow people to choose whether or not they wear a mask.
In a news conference Monday, Demings described the mask order as a “measured approach” to stop the dangerous and potentially deadly spread of the virus.
“The decisions we’re making here on the local level are apolitical,” Demings said. “It has nothing to do with party affiliation. It has to do with putting the needs of the people first.”
Orange County Medical Officer Dr. Raul Pino said in the news conference that wearing a mask is a way to protect yourself while also being respectful to others.
Watch Sabatini’s news conference below:
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