During the 2021 Legislative Session, the Lakeland Chamber successfully advocated for legislation granting liability protection to businesses against COVID-related lawsuits. The bill ultimately signed into law (and which can be read in its entirety here: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/72/BillText/er/PDF) protects businesses who have “…made a good faith effort to substantially comply with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards or guidance” from COVID liability.
As you are likely aware, Polk County, along with much of the State of Florida, is currently designated as an ‘Area of High Community Transmission’ according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To best protect your business from the potential of COVID-related lawsuits, we are encouraging businesses to closely review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) health care standards and guidance and to make a good faith effort to substantially comply with them. The CDCs standards and guidelines are changing frequently and can be reviewed by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance.html
Until Polk County’s COVID-19 Community Level of Transmission designation declines to the moderate level or the CDC changes its recommendations, we here at the Chamber will wear masks when meeting with guests to abide by current CDC recommendations. Additionally, the Chamber will have PPE available for guests including masks and hand sanitizer. Further, any Chamber-sanctioned indoor events will require attendees to be masked when not actively eating or drinking and practice physical distancing (6 feet or more) when possible. Hybrid options will be made available for those who are uncomfortable with social gatherings or the current Chamber guidelines.
We recommend that you stay informed as to the standards and guidance specific to your industry and business.