This bill prohibits local health officers from taking any actions to close or forbid
gatherings in places of worship to control outbreaks and epidemics of the 2019 novel
coronavirus or any variant or virus derived as a mutation from the 2019 novel
coronavirus. Currently, local health officers have the statutory authority to do what
is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease and forbid
public gatherings when necessary to control outbreaks or epidemics, among other
public health powers.
(a) Notwithstanding s. 252.03 (2), a local health officer may not take 5
any action to close or forbid gatherings in places of worship to control outbreaks and
epidemics of the 2019 novel coronavirus or any variant or virus derived as a mutation 2
of the 2019 novel coronavirus.
(b) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to confer any authority on a 4
local health officer to close or restrict capacity in places of worship or any other 5