All around the nation, the number of cases of COVID-19 is rising rapidly, forcing several local authorities to make drastic decisions.
In Florida the second wave surge was so bad that officials have stalled and rolled back plans to reopen The Sunshine State ahead of what would have been one of the biggest tourism weekends of the year. Furthermore, authorities in Miami and South Beach have mandated that face masks be worn at all times when in public, threatening fines ranging from $50 to $500 for those who abstain.
Texas is similarly seeing a surge in cases, forcing Governor Greg Abbott to make a difficult decision.
The governor’s office said the order applied to all counties in Texas with 20 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, saying the move was necessary with other efforts to curb the spread of the disease.
“Due to recent substantial increases in COVID-19 positive cases, and increases in the COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19, further measures are needed to achieve the least restrictive means for reducing the growing spread of COVID-19, and to avoid a need for more extreme measures,” Abbott said in his executive order issued Thursday afternoon.
He added: “Wearing a face covering is important not only to protect oneself, but also to avoid unknowingly harming fellow Texans, especially given that many people who go into public may have COVID-19 without knowing it because they have no symptoms.”
The use of face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus is well understood to be an effective tool, with not much debate among medical professionals regarding the subject.
Politically, however, face masks have somehow become a hotbed of controversy, with many Americans refusing to don the coverings, sometimes vociferously, and captured on viral video.
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