- Florida Sheriff explains mask ban
- Exceptions to the ban
- Wearing masks as a political issue
- Health officials on Covid
Florida Sheriff explains mask ban
Earlier this month, Florida’s Sheriff of Marion County, Billy Woods, banned all of his personnel from wearing face masks. The ban was explained in an email to his officers. According to the local paper, Ocala-Star Banner, Sheriff Woods wrote, “My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my office – masks will not be worn.” Sheriff Woods noted that the mayor of Ocala had vetoed a mask mandate and wrote, “This is no longer a debate nor is it up for discussion.”
This ban would also extend to visitors to the Sheriff’s office. The Sheriff justified this extension of the ban by claiming that this decision comes as a result of the protests against racism and police brutality. He wrote in his email, “In light of the current events when it comes to sentiment and/or hatred toward law enforcement in our country today, this is being done to ensure there is clear communication and for identification purposes of any individual walking into a lobby.” He also added that he had studied the effect of masks closely and deducted that the use of masks to prevent contracting the disease is inconclusive.
Exceptions to the ban
Despite the peculiar ban, there are some exceptions to it which include officers who are interacting with individuals in jail facilities, courthouses, hospitals, or schools in which case all officers may carry “pre-approved masks”. These exceptions are due to the high infection rates at these specific facilities, especially in jails.
He added, “For all of these exceptions, the moment that enforcement action is to be taken and it requires you to give an individual orders/commands to comply, the mask will be immediately removed.”
Wearing masks as a political issue
Of the many current issues Trump has been debating, one of them includes the President turning the wearing of masks into a political battlefield. Government officials of the Republican party tend to support President Trump in not wearing masks whereas Democrat government officials tend to take the opposite position.
Despite this, Trump made a public appearance wearing a mask and told reporters in July, “I’m getting used to wearing a mask.” Prior to this, Trump had mocked political officials and reporters for wearing masks.
Health officials on Covid
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation(WHO) advises non-medical face coverings to be worn in public where social distancing is not possible. This is because the coronavirus is spread through droplets sprayed into the air by carriers of the disease when they talk, cough, or sneeze. The WHO have also stated that there is also evidence of the virus’s ability to be transmitted through the air via tiny particles in aerosol form hanging in the air.
The Center for Disease Control(CDC) requested for Americans to wear face coverings in July. They said, “There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have Covid-19 from spreading the virus to others.”
Florida is one of the major hotspots for the virus with a whopping 550,000 cases and 8,700 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has the most coronavirus cases in the world with 5.2 million infections and more than 166,000 deaths.