Is a statewide mask mandate on its way for Florida?

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Medical professionals are saying coronavirus transmission rates would decline if everyone wore masks correctly and properly socially distanced.Hospital leaders are reportedly starting to express concern about the spike in cases.“This is getting very, very serious and we need to take serious steps,” Seminole County medical director Dr. Todd Husty said. “I had a meeting with all the hospitals but ICU’s are filling up.”Husty says the startling climb in Florida COVID-19 cases may be because Floridians are choosing to not wear masks.Some Democratic lawmakers say Gov. Ron DeSantis is partially at fault.“Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up the state too early and as a result, many people are suffering,” state Rep. Anna Eskamani said.Eskamani is one of the ten lawmakers who signed a letter to DeSantis on Friday asking him to issue a state-wide mask mandate to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus. “There are folks that are still not taking this seriously and sometimes it takes a mandate for folks to take it seriously and practice the CDC guidelines for reducing COVID-19,” Eskamani said.DeSantis is reluctant about their request. His office sent us a statement saying in part: “Governor DeSantis has proven that if you inform residents of the risks and provide them with the important information that will keep them safe, they will do the right thing which is how Florida previously flattened the curve and will do so again. That was successful without imposing a statewide mask mandate.”It also says this type of order would not make sense for some of Florida’s counties.Dr. Husty disagrees, suggesting a state-wide order would force needed education about the necessity for masks.“I think a mandate will help. I think it emphasizes the point that this is very, very important. It’s not a big deal, just do it,” Husty said. A similar letter urging DeSantis to consider a mask mandate was sent by Congressional Democrats last week.

Medical professionals are saying coronavirus transmission rates would decline if everyone wore masks correctly and properly socially distanced.

Hospital leaders are reportedly starting to express concern about the spike in cases.

“This is getting very, very serious and we need to take serious steps,” Seminole County medical director Dr. Todd Husty said. “I had a meeting with all the hospitals but ICU’s are filling up.”

Husty says the startling climb in Florida COVID-19 cases may be because Floridians are choosing to not wear masks.

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Some Democratic lawmakers say Gov. Ron DeSantis is partially at fault.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up the state too early and as a result, many people are suffering,” state Rep. Anna Eskamani said.

Eskamani is one of the ten lawmakers who signed a letter to DeSantis on Friday asking him to issue a state-wide mask mandate to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus.

“There are folks that are still not taking this seriously and sometimes it takes a mandate for folks to take it seriously and practice the CDC guidelines for reducing COVID-19,” Eskamani said.

DeSantis is reluctant about their request.

His office sent us a statement saying in part: “Governor DeSantis has proven that if you inform residents of the risks and provide them with the important information that will keep them safe, they will do the right thing which is how Florida previously flattened the curve and will do so again. That was successful without imposing a statewide mask mandate.”

It also says this type of order would not make sense for some of Florida’s counties.

Dr. Husty disagrees, suggesting a state-wide order would force needed education about the necessity for masks.

“I think a mandate will help. I think it emphasizes the point that this is very, very important. It’s not a big deal, just do it,” Husty said.

A similar letter urging DeSantis to consider a mask mandate was sent by Congressional Democrats last week.

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