Democratic Rep. Tina Polsky says Palm Beach County should make face masks mandatory as officials continue raising concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
“We are seeing a disturbing trend of new cases in Palm Beach County since reopening began in May and we cannot afford to wait any longer before we take action,” Polsky said Friday.
“This isn’t about politics, it is about science.”
Polsky’s House District 81 covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Pahokee and Belle Glade. She’s now running in the Senate District 29 contest, which covers much of the same Palm Beach County territory.
Palm Beach wouldn’t be the first region in Florida to require masks in public. Employees in St. Petersburg are required to wear masks starting Friday. During the earlier peak of the outbreak, Miami-Dade County also required masks in public where social distancing was not possible.
Residents throughout state of California must also now wear masks as officials there have seen an uptick in cases.
State and local officials in Palm Beach County have raised concerns this week regarding the region’s COVID-19 trajectory.
Late last week, officials decided to delay a planned Monday reopening for short-term rentals. Alina Alonso, director of the Florida Department of Health’s Palm Beach County branch, also warned the county is seeing rises in hospitalizations and the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.
Surgeon General Scott Rivkees has expressed concern about the rise as well.
Those officials have not yet recommended a reversion of the region’s reopening measures. Polsky argues, though, that state and local officials should coordinate on a mandatory mask order.
“We know for a fact that wearing a mask reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission significantly,” Polsky said.
“I am asking Palm Beach County officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a mandatory mask requirement immediately, before more people are exposed to COVID-19.”