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13th circuit court in Hillsborough County to require face masks inside facilities

The policy change will take effect Monday, Aug. 2.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge in the Tampa Bay area, the 13th Circuit Court in Hillsborough County will require everyone to wear masks inside buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

An order that takes effect Monday, Aug. 2, will require everyone who is inside a court building over the age of two to wear a face mask "until the level of community transmission of COVID-19 in Hillsborough County is reduced to moderate." 

According to CDC data, Hillsborough County is currently at a high level of transmission for COVID-19. 

Face masks must be worn in all public areas of county courthouse facilities, including lobbies, auditoriums, hallways, corridors, elevators, stairwells, restrooms and courtrooms.

The order says all judges, judicial assistants and judicial staff must wear a face mask while at work unless they are alone in their own work area.

The order also allows judges to require witnesses or jurors to wear a clear face mask. 

Physical distancing is also encouraged as COVID-19 cases continue to climb, according to the order. 

You can read the full order here

In the last week, Florida reported 110,477 new COVID-19 cases. According to the Florida health department's weekly report, 7,124 of those cases were reported in Hillsborough County. Of the people tested in the county, 20.5 percent of those tests came back positive. 

The CDC reversed course Tuesday on some of its masking guidelines, recommending that vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where there are surging cases of COVID-19.

People who are unvaccinated always have been asked to wear a mask.

On Friday, a leaked CDC document warned the delta variant appeared to be as contagious as chickenpox.

RELATED: Florida reports more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in weekly report

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