Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) encouraged Floridians this week to wear masks at the grocery store to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The grocery stores are packed and when you have close contact that’s when this virus is most likely to be transmitted,” DeSantis said. “So having the masks I think could absolutely cut down on the transmissibility of this, I think that’s a very important precaution.”
Last week, President Trump announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) formal recommendation to cover faces in public.
“The CDC is advising the use of nonmedical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure,” Trump said, stressing that it is “voluntary.”
“You don’t have to do it,” he added.
First lady Melania Trump also encouraged Americans to consider wearing a mask in public, asking them last week to “take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously.”
She renewed that call on Thursday.
“As the CDC continues to study the spread of the #COVID-19, they recommend that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing can be difficult to maintain,” the first lady said in a statement.
“Remember, this does not replace the importance of social distancing. It is recommended to keep us all safe,” she added alongside an image showing her wearing a mask:
As the CDC studies the spread of #COVID-19, they recommend people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when social distancing can be hard to do. Remember, this does NOT replace the importance of social distancing. pic.twitter.com/HRaQHFgXxn
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 9, 2020
Officials in some local communities have taken the recommendation even further, threatening residents with penalties for failing to wear a face covering in public places.
As Breitbart News reported:
The city council in Laredo passed an ordinance requiring that all people over the age of five must wear a mask covering their mouth and nose when in public. The ordinance is expected to go into effect on Thursday, April 2 and violators could face a fine of up to $1,000, the Laredo Morning Times reports.
The order encourages people to use approved protective masks but allows for bandanas, scarves, or any other fabric.
The City of Laredo also adds a local curfew for all residents. Violation of the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew could result in arrest and confinement for up to 180 days in jail in addition to a fine of up to $1,000.
The city’s order went into effect on April 2.