Florida’s surgeon is now urging residents to wear face masks in public — as new coronavirus infections continue to surge in the state.
Scott Rivkees advised that even though the Sunshine State has moved to phase two of its reopening, “all individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible.”
Rivkees quietly signed the advisory on Saturday, but it was officially filed on Monday as the state surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 cases.
The document also recommends that people should stay away from gatherings of more than 50 people.
In crowd sizes smaller than that, it directs folks to “practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet from each other and wear a face covering.”
But it is not a requirement and carries no penalties.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, on Saturday told reporters that he supports wearing masks — but not requiring them, The Miami Herald reported.
“We’ve just got to trust people that you’ll give them an opportunity to do the good things to make good decisions,” DeSantis said. “I think that that tends to work better than to mandate this, mandate that.”
The state’s Department of Health advisory lists some exceptions to mask-wearing, including: children under the age of 2; people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering; and people “engaged in outdoor work or recreation with appropriate social distancing in place.”