Jacksonville Adopts Mask Mandate Before Republican Convention

Jacksonville became the latest Florida city to require people to wear masks in public places as coronavirus cases spike and it prepares to host the Republican National Convention in late August.

The city said the mandatory public and indoor mask requirement would take effect at 5 p.m. Monday. Florida has been experiencing a spike in cases in June, including in Jacksonville, where 64 people have died amid 5,839 cases.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump moved most convention activities from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jacksonville after Democratic Governor Roy Cooper wouldn’t guarantee that the state would allow Trump to relax social distancing rules.

Trump, who has not worn a mask publicly, told the Wall Street Journal that he believes some Americans wear them to signal their disapproval of him.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that Trump believes wearing a mask is a “personal choice” and that people should do “whatever your local jurisdiction requested you to do.”

“He did say to me he has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requested you to do,” she told reporters at the White House.

Florida has more than 141,000 cases and 3,518 people have died.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people “wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household” especially in situations where it is hard to stay more than six feet apart, such as a crowded convention floor.

The Trump campaign did not require masks at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Two campaign staffers and a journalist who were at the event have since tested positive.

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