Jacksonville to order mask-wearing ahead of GOP convention

Source: Politico | June 29, 2020 | Marc Caputo

A turning point came after decisions by the Coast Guard and Navy, which has two facilities in Jacksonville, to require indoor mask-wearing.

Jacksonville, where the Republican National Convention is slated to be held in August, is planning to institute a city-wide mask order to stem the spread of coronavirus, city hall sources tell POLITICO.

The announcement, scheduled for noon, requires indoor-mask wearing only — not an outside mandate that other local governments in Florida have passed. Jacksonville is unlike any other municipality in the state because the sprawling city essentially encompasses all of Duval County in northeast Florida.

As the number of cases in in the city and state rise, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, his staff and healthcare experts have been discussing a mask order for more than a week, two sources said. A final turning point for Curry came after the decisions by the Coast Guard and Navy, which has two facilities in Jacksonville, to order indoor mask-wearing.

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Curry is determined to have the GOP convention take place safely in Jacksonville, and those familiar with his thinking say he wants to do what he can to once again reduce infection rates and rising hospitalizations. Jacksonville’s infection and hospitalization rates are well below those in Miami-Dade County in the southeast corner of the state.

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