Manatee County commissioners approve to exempt churches from the mask resolution

Houses of Worship Exempt from Mask Resolution

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Manatee County commissioners have voted to amend the local face mask resolution, and houses of worship are no longer required to have face coverings.

Commissioners voted 6-1 in favor of exempting houses of worship from the countywide mask resolution.

A group of Suncoast pastors spoke at the commission meeting Tuesday afternoon, asking Commissioners to remove churches and places of worship from the face mask resolution that was approved earlier this month.

Our number one problem is not the mask mandate or number one issue is there was no exemption made for churches and religious organizations whether be, mosques, synagogues, or whatever. Where there were exemptions for other organizations like restaurants and other facilities like that,” says Suncoast Baptist Church Pastor Reverend Joel Tillis.

After the pastors spoke to at the meeting, the Commissioners spoke about the possibility of modifying the mask resolution

“But I believe people should go to church if they feel comfortable and I believe that they should worship the Lord,” explains Commissioner at Large Betsy Benac.

“I do think when you go to church, please consider social distancing and wearing a mask,” says Commissioner Reggie Bellamy.

The resolution modification takes place effective immediately, and commissioners say they will decide if they have a special meeting to draft a new resolution or if it will happen at an upcoming regular scheduled meeting.

No further information is available at this time.

Copyright 2020 WWSB. All rights reserved.