June 22, 2020 -- Several states have mandated the use of masks and face coverings while in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cities in Florida and Arizona, where coronavirus cases are increasing, joined California and Michigan this week in introducing new requirements.
Major cities have instituted face covering orders as well, including Florida cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg and the Florida Keys, according to News4Jax. Jacksonville doesn’t have a requirement, but Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry urged people to wear them in public.
“As we are seeing right now, without these precautions, the community spread is real,” he said in a statement on Friday. “For example, there are people in crowded bars and walking on crowded streets who are not wearing masks and ignoring social distancing.”
On Saturday, Florida health officials reported another single-day high record of 4,049 new COVID-19 cases. It was the fourth one-day record this week.
Starting on Monday, businesses in Houston will require face coverings for employees and customers, according to an order signed by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Friday.
Everyone over age 10 must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in commercial buildings and stay six feet away from others. People don’t need to wear masks when exercising outdoors, driving alone or with others of the same household, pumping gas or eating, according to the order.
Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order at the beginning of June that banned local governments from imposing fines on people for not wearing masks, several cities began requiring businesses to mandate masks for employees and customers. If businesses don’t develop health and safety policies that require masks, they could be fined $1,000 for each violation, according to the Houston Business Journal.
Cities in Arizona are issuing face mask requirements as well. On Thursday, Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane issued an emergency proclamation that requires people to cover their nose and mouth in public. The requirement started Friday evening.
“We cannot afford another shutdown of businesses or restaurants,” he said in a news release. “So we need each individual to make responsible decisions for the sake of our entire community — wear your mask when out in public.”