A South Florida critical care nurse practicioner has started a petition to ask Gov. Ron DeSantis to require mandatory masks in public statewide.
Kevin Cho Tipton said after a long week at work personally witnessing the recent surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, he decided to petition the governor, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Jose Oliva, and Florida state senator Bill Galvano.
"Today I wanted to talk about our petition to have Governor DeSantis, Speaker Oliva and senate president Bill Galvano call either a special session or initiate executive order to require mask use throughout the state of Florida," Tipton said in a recent video.
Some cities in South Florida already require masks, and the City of Miami just implemented fines for people not in compliance. But Tipton said he believes the requirement should be uniform across the state.
"We've had a 200% increase in admissions, a 200% increase in ICU patients," he said.
The petition, "Masks for Florida, Masks for Life," had more than 200 signatures Friday and has been signed by medical professionals.
Tipton said it's personal to him.
"One of the first days of the pandemic's worst moments were when we lost one of our charge nurses from Jackson and that hit everyone really really hard. And I spent 3O days working in April and we watched one of our cardiologists pass away," he said.
Both Miami-Dade and Broward require masks before entering businesses or if you can't social distance in public. Certain cities have more stringent rules.