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Wearing masks now encouraged, not required, in Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Manatee County is the first community in Tampa Bay to no longer require residents to mask up in public.

The county’s commissioners repealed the mask mandate on Tuesday, just days after Florida moved into Phase 3 of reopening the economy.

County leaders are still urging residents to wear a mask and follow CDC guidelines.

On a statewide level, Governor Ron DeSantis announced lask week he would suspend the collection of individual fines and penalties related to violating mask orders.

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