Florida Surgeon General Recommends People Wear Masks in Public Following Spike in Coronavirus Cases

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Over the weekend, following back to back days of record-setting confirmed coronavirus cases, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees signed a public health advisory recommending that people wear masks in public.

The recommendation is not enforceable, aligning with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision to avoid a statewide mandate on masks.

Rivkees' advisory says, "all individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible."

The only exceptions are for children under the age of two, individuals with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks and people who are working outdoors with proper social distancing.

Residents are also being asked to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

On Saturday, the day Rivkees signed the advisory, Florida set a record for the most confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day at 4,049. The state had been reporting over 3,000 cases every day for nearly a week.

On the same day, at a news conference, DeSantis called a statewide mandate on masks "problematic."

“We have to trust people,” DeSantis said. “Give them the opportunity to do the good things, make good decisions.”

The governor attributed the spike in cases to more testing. Much of the new infections involved younger people, many of them not exhibiting symptoms of the disease.

At a news conference for the Miami-Dade County League of Cities Mayor's Coalition Monday, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Miami, along with several other cities, would implement a rule requiring that masks be worn in public spaces.

"Without a doubt, enforcement will be a challenge," Suarez said.

Aventura, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, and North Miami Beach are all implementing the new rule.

Florida surpassed 100,000 coronavirus cases Monday as the state reported nearly 3,000 new cases. The state's death toll reached 3,173.

Contact Us