Billy Woods, sheriff of Marion County in central Florida, has banned masking of all delegates and visitors to the sheriff’s office starting Tuesday, according to a new report from Ocala Star Banner—A strange decision made in the midst of a pandemic is still out of control.
Sheriff Woods instructed staff not to wear masks on duty and said that any public visitors came to the sheriff’s office, where about 900 people are currently, should be advised that the mask is prohibited. Anyone who doesn’t want to remove their mask will be asked to leave, according to a memo written by Woods and obtained by Ocala Star Banner.
“Effective immediately, any individual entering any of our hallways (including the main office and all district offices) wearing a mask will be asked to remove it,” Writes Woods.
According to the CDC, masks are an important public health tool that helps slow the spread of coronavirus, and the sheriff’s ban on masks comes as Florida breaks a new record for daily deaths from covid-19. Sunshine State recorded 277 new deaths on Tuesday, of which 13 were in Marion County. The whole United States reported 1,339 new deaths yesterday.
Woods cites anti-police sentiment as a reason for the new ban, strongly hinting that someone may enter the sheriff’s office for nefarious purposes and cannot be identified with a mask.
Woods writes, “based on current facts when it comes to the sentiment and / or hatred for law enforcement in our country today, this is being done to ensure information is available. Clear communication and for the purpose of identification of any individual entering the hallway. “
Florida has seen a significant increase in coronavirus infections over the past few months, with severely affected children. The number of Florida children under 17 years of age who tested positive for covid-19 increased from 16,797 on 9 July to 39,735 on 9 August, according to a recent report from CNN. Overall, Florida has identified more than 543,000 cases and 8,552 deaths.
Masks were controversial in the US medical community in the early days of the pandemic, but health experts in Asia immediately realized that masking could play an important role in preventing stop the spread of disease. It is now widely accepted in the US that masks are a public good and should be widely applied to help curb covid-19, although Republicans tend to be most suspicious of the mask, according to some polls. President Donald Trump is also a skeptic of the mask, although recently pulled out a 180 mask and is called “patriotic”.
Florida currently has a positive test rate of 17.3%, according to Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, a figure shows that a pandemic is still raging out of state control. New York’s positive rates are now less than 1%, meaning the virus is still present, but not as common as places like Mississippi (20.5%) and Texas (20.4%).
The anti-mask sentiment in Florida seems high, compared to many other parts of the country. Recently, an anti-mask protest in central Florida has caught the attention of Ridiculous display of stupidity. Ocala, the largest city in Marion County, passed a mandatory masking ordinance last week through the city council, but mayor Kent Guinn vetoed the new order on Monday, according to the channel branch local ABC image WCJB.
Guinn asserted that his voters did not want a masked decree for local businesses, even an ordinance that only stated that businesses should make “reasonable efforts” to make customers wear face masks.
“Most of them want me to veto. Probably 99 plus percent, ”Guinn told WCJB last week.
Marion County supports Donald Trump in 2016, with 61.7% voting for the incumbent president, and 35.5% voting for Hillary Clinton. So, although it’s unlikely that “99%” of Guinn’s members are opposed to the mask, it’s not hard to believe that the majority can believe in conspiracy theories that the mask is a secret plot of lizard people in the world causing you to inhale poison.