Nikki Fried launches ‘Mask Up Florida Week’ in October
Nikki Fried. Image via Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

'We have to take our responsibility seriously.'

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is pleading with Floridians to mask up.

On Thursday, she proclaimed Oct. 16 to 23 as “Mask Up Florida Week” in the Sunshine State. The weeklong proclamation aims to remind Floridians that masks can save lives amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m proud to proclaim ‘Mask Up Florida Week’ to raise awareness on the effectiveness of mask-wearing and to encourage everyone to do their part to help beat COVID-19,” Fried said in a statement. “With so many lives and livelihoods on the line, we have to take our responsibility seriously and mask up to protect our loved ones, businesses, essential workers — and make sure we’re doing all we can to keep Florida safe.”

Mask Up Florida Week is part of the Commissioner’s Be SMART Florida awareness campaign. The campaign, which digitally launched in August, encourages Floridians to do their part to contain the virus. The SMART acronym asks Floridians to social distance, mask up, avoid crowds, remember to wash hands, and throw away disposable PPE items.

Notably, Fried’s campaign launched days after Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his One Goal, One Florida campaign – a move that underscored the not-so-secret tensions between the Republican Governor and Fried, the state’s highest-ranking elected Democrat.

In September, she also launched a video series and flyers to guide farmworkers, who are more susceptible than others to contract the virus. The series complements her plan to provide free testing to employers, farmworkers, and their families in several of Florida’s top agriculture counties.

“COVID-19 continues to be a global health crisis unlike any we’ve ever faced, devastating our communities, public health, and our economy,” Fried added. “It’s crucial that we stand united in our response against this virus and take common-sense steps to protect each other, like wearing masks when in public.”

At least 758,538 people in the State of Florida have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Drew

    October 15, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Anything to grab a headline. Doesn’t she have farmers she should be helping!!!

  • Kathy F.

    October 15, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    No masks. They are pointless, and even the CDC is now saying they do not work to prevent the spread of the virus. Or any virus. Follow the science, not the headlines!

  • John Coughlin

    October 15, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    to the comments above….masks DO work, there is nothing in real science that says they do not.


    The reason we cannot reopen our economy is exactly because of people who will not wear masks or socially distance.

    Tired of these lies and false narratives above….

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 16, 2020 at 7:47 am

    Wake up goptrump cult sociopaths! Desantis and trump are using our children to community spread in their plan to force herd immunity on US! Wear a damn mask! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good ! Fried keep up the pressure on Duffus Desantis and his failures for the sake of our children!

  • Tjb

    October 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Thank you Nikki. Masks do help to prevent the spread of the virus and the CDC supports the use of a mask. Replying to Drew’s comment; she has supported the protecting of farmers and their workers from Covid 19. It is not amazing that a strong and intelligent women wants to protect Floridians from Covid 19?

  • Angela Phelps

    October 16, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    You IDIOTS the face diaper does not work! You idiots if they did then how come the mask wearers are infected! IDIOTS

  • Angela Phelps

    October 16, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    and if the face diaper works then why don’t you put it on and shut up!!!! You will be safe, right…..

  • Mike

    October 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    When I was a kid one of the neighbors kids got measles. I remember my mom getting us together and we all went down and “visited” with him and his family. The same as a lot of other neighbors whose children never had the measles. The idea was to get it over with and move on with life instead of living in fear of something that had far less than 1% chance of being deadly. My son’s had it. He used the time off to go fishing. We should be protecting those who are actually at risk, not ruining lives and livelihood’s because of fear ginned up by a media that sells air time by scaring you.

  • John Coughlin

    October 27, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Dear “Mike” and “Angela”

    1) this is not “the measles”. you do realize that this virus kills people, and even if you survive, there is evidence that it permanently damages your body….read the science.

    2) You need to diverse yourself from the cult of ignorance and story caring about yourselves more than you do America….again, we are shut down because of people like you, who cannot stand the inconvenience of wearing a mask for a few minutes when they enter a closed space.

    You are what is wrong with America….YOU.

Comments are closed.


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