FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – From the second you walk in the door at Fort Lauderdale City Hall, you’ll notice the change: No mask, no problem.
“We had dots on the floor for people to separate where they stood. Temperature scanning, things on the wall, we required them to do as they came into the building. Obviously, we reduced some of those things,” said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom.READ MORE: Condo Collapse: Despite Broken Pelvis After 4-Story Fall, Mom Pulls Daughter Out Of Rubble
Lagerbloom walked CBS4’s Ted Scouten through city hall, pointing out COVID restrictions have been lifted after Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order on Monday.
“After thoughtful consideration, we thought it was the right thing to do to adhere to the order and open up as safely as we could,” he said.
Lagerbloom sent out a memo to employees Tuesday night, saying, in part, “All social distancing, facial coverings, temperature checks and other COVID-19 limitations are no longer required but will be voluntary. Capacity in our facilities will also return to normal.”
“The idea of sitting in a crowded commission chamber is kind of a weird thought right now,” said Scouten.
“It is, 14 for 15 months later. For the longest time, the mayor, city attorney and I were the only three together,” responded Lagerbloom.
Frank Verisi stopped by city hall.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Verisi said.
“What makes you think it’s a great thing?” Scouten asked.READ MORE: Condo Collapse: FIU Professor Found Surfside Building Had Been Sinking For Decades
“Well, you think the thing is glued to you. It’s part of your life now,” he responded.
While Verisi was pleased with the move, others were not.
“I’m going to wear [my mask], cause I don’t think this thing is going away. You can look around town, people still getting sick,” said Fort Lauderdale resident Alfred Baker.
Karen Baez-Wallis is head of nursing in the emergency department at Jackson South Hospital.
“I would feel uncomfortable right now going to the supermarket and just removing my mask. I don’t know I’m quite there yet,” she said.
With more places dropping COVID restrictions she says you have to do what’s right for you to remain healthy.
“If we feel more comfortable wearing a mask, or we anticipate a situation where a lot of people congregating and we’re not aware of their vaccination status or status of having prior infection of COVID, then we can certainly wear a mask, if that’s how we feel more comfortable,” she said.
The city of Miami is checking to see how the governor’s order could impact them.MORE NEWS: Condo Collapse: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Signs Emergency Order
Miami Beach sent a letter to commissioners saying it could no longer enforce masking or social distancing mandates, but is working with the county and other cities to come up with alternatives.