Despite overwhelming evidence that wearing masks can prevent the spread of COVID-19, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods has banned his deputies and visitors from wearing masks. Florida has seen an explosion of cases in the recent months. The state has recorded more than 542,000 cases and 8,600 deaths. Marion County set a new record for daily deaths with 13 on Tuesday. The mask ban only applies to police officers and visitors to the sheriff’s office. His order carves out some exceptions for high-risk places like hospitals and around people who may be at heightened risk or are suspected of having the virus. “We can debate and argue all day of why and why not. The fact is, the amount of professionals that give the reason why we should, I can find the exact same amount of professionals that say why we shouldn’t,” Sheriff Woods said.
Blake is a writer focused on non-profits and trade industries. He has told the stories of countless peacebuilders while covering international development with the nonprofit Search for Common Ground. He is a graduate of the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.