A Florida sheriff has banned members of Parliament and visitors from wearing face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods described the new regulations in an email to staff saying he had considered both sides of the argument, but there was no room for negotiation of decision.
“Now I can hear the moans already and just to let you know I didn’t make this decision easily and weighed it down for the past 2 weeks,” he said.
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“We can debate and argue all day about why and why not. The point is, the number of professionals who give the reason why we should, I can find exactly the same number of professionals who say why we shouldn’t.
The sheriff’s decision comes just a day after Florida recorded its highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in a day since the start of the pandemic.
Sheriff Woods said exceptions will be made for MPs in prisons, schools, courthouses, hospitals, nursing homes and when dealing with an elderly or person with Covid-19.
However, even in these cases, he stipulated that the masks should always be removed when ordering or ordering to comply.
Masks will not be allowed in sheriff’s department buildings so that visitors can be easily identified and allow clear communication, he said. Visitors will have to remove their masks in the lobby.
Florida’s record-breaking 276 deaths reported Tuesday by local health officials brings the state’s total death toll to 8,685 since the start of the pandemic.
A total of 542,792 cases of the coronavirus were reported across Florida on Tuesday, which has struggled to contain the virus as cases surged in recent months.
Americans have been urged by public health officials to wear masks in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that “there is growing evidence that fabric headgear helps prevent people with Covid-19 from passing the virus on to others.
However, Sheriff Woods claimed that working without a mask did not impact his 900-person department, according to Le Washington Post.
“Since the start of this pandemic, the functioning of this office has not changed and no mask has been put in place,” he reportedly wrote in the email.
CDC Director Dr Robert R Redfield said “Sheet masks are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow down and stop the spread of the virus.”
“All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families and their communities,” he added.
Additional Associated Press Reports