The mask mandate for Jacksonville was canceled. Medical experts advise caution due to known COVID-19 variants – Action News Jax
JACKSONVILLE. Fla. – Jacksonville’s mask mandate has officially been revoked. The announcement came just yesterday, March 26th, from Mayor Lenny Curry.
While people have had mixed reactions, some medical experts say it’s too soon.
Mayor Curry encourages people to take personal responsibility. People like Luis Padilla are still on the fence about the mayor’s election.
“Obviously, when people want to be safe, they wear the mask. If people want to take the risk, don’t wear the mask, ”he said.
A rescinded mask mandate does not mean that it is free for everyone. According to the CDC, you should take precautions even if you are fully vaccinated.
The CDC encourages people to continue wearing a mask and stay 6 feet away from others.
Dr. Baptist Health’s Elizabeth Ransom says we need to stay safe until vaccines can catch up.
“It is important to continue to play it safe and vigilant as we know these variants are available and transferable,” she said.
Florida is one of 17 states without a mask mandate and has reported more than 2 million cases across the state since the pandemic began. During this time, over 92,000 cases were reported here in the Duval district.
Doctors say more cases means a slower pace to achieve herd immunity.
The CDC reports that Florida has the highest number of cases of British variants in the country.
Michael McClelland received his first dose today. The British variant worried him most.
“Between the variations that are being introduced and becoming more and more implemented, I think it is more important than ever to keep the same mentality of protecting yourself,” he said.
Hugh Greene, former naysayer of Mayor Curry’s decision, former president and CEO of Baptist Health, said the decision to lift the mask mandate was premature.
“The mask is one of the most important tools we have available to help prevent the disease from spreading,” he told Action News Jax. “We did so well and made so much progress. The mandate was in effect in Jacksonville, it makes no sense to me why we are giving it up now. “
Dr. Ransom said we know the vaccines are very effective in preventing COVID-19 diseases, but we don’t know for sure if someone who has been vaccinated can pass the virus to someone who may not be vaccinated, which is why this is the case it is important to follow the safety guidelines.