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NEWBERRY ‒ Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe and some Newberry City Commissioners have received calls asking if the City has changed its stance on wearing facemasks. As it turns out the City has not.

However, Newberry Codes Enforcement Officer Rick Wolf has been educating those business owners who have been requiring patrons, as well as their own employees, to wear masks that they are eligible to file for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act reimbursement funds for losses suffered as a result of COVID-19.

Although Alachua County’s position on mask-wearing to help prevent the spread of the virus is mandatory, the City of Newberry and some Alachua County residents have chosen instead to go by the governor’s guidance, which is to wear a mask if a citizen is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Because Newberry is strongly recommending the wearing of masks, but not mandating it, some members of the Alachua County Commission believe the City of Newberry is not eligible to apply for CARES Act reimbursement for their losses.

Marlowe pointed out that singling out one city as ineligible may be one of the reasons the Springs County movement has seen such strong momentum. “We have several business owners who have abided by the same rules as the County wishes to enforce,” said Marlowe. “There is no reason they should not be eligible for reimbursement under the CARES Act.”

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