HEALTH MINDED . . .
Masks in Public a Must
MORE STATES MAKE IT MANDATORY
Many states have mandated the use of masks and face coverings in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cities in Florida and Arizona joined California and Michigan this week in introducing new requirements.
In April, the CDC issued guidelines that everyone wear a face mask in public. Now 15 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory face mask orders, according to a CNN map.
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.”
- Cases are rising and young people are part of it
- Anti-viral drug’s important next step
- The federal government is preparing for a second wave
- The role of masks
Cases are rising and young people are part of it
The major hotspots of new coronavirus cases in the United States are in the South and West, where officials say more young people are ignoring social distancing measures and testing positive.
The increases highlight America's systemic failure to control the pandemic, in sharp contrast to its trajectory in Europe and Asia. There, coronavirus cases sharply increased in the early weeks of 2020, were met with fierce efforts to stop its spread, and then markedly declined.
The good news? Young people are more likely to have milder outcomes from a coronavirus infection. The bad news? They can still infect others who may be at higher risk for a more severe course of disease.
"With younger age of recent infections in at least some places such as Florida, expect a lower death rate in this wave ... until the 20-40-year-olds who are infected today go on to infect others," Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Twitter.
The issue hinges on the mobility of those younger people and how likely they are to spread the virus. This is a bit of a question mark, and its answer could shape how we plan for the fall, the winter -- and even beyond.
AP - SWIMMING QUESTION ANSWER
Is it safe to swim at a beach or pool during the coronavirus pandemic?
Health officials say it can be safe, as long as swimmers stick to social distancing guidelines in and out of the water.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from person to person in water in pools, hot tubs, oceans or lakes. Pool disinfectants like chlorine should also kill the virus, providing another layer of protection.
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