Mandate Masks in Collier County

Mandate Masks in Collier County

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Dear Collier County Commissioners,

We, the undersigned residents of Collier County, hereby petition the Collier County Board of County Commissioners to enact mandatory face covering for residents of Collier County when in contact with others in public. We wish for the Board to protect the public’s health by instituting such an order. The data clearly show that community wide mask wearing decreases the community spread of SARS-CoV-2.[1],[2] Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”[3] 

Collier County has high community spread of coronavirus (daily COVID testing positivity rates consistently greater than 10%). The virus can be transmitted by people who don’t have symptoms. Widespread and consistent use of masks is an effective means of preventing further transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Masking provides a safer way to reopen and to prevent the need for a further lockdown.

We believe that Collier County should be mandated to follow the June 22, 2020, advisory of Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees:

All individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible unless any of the following is applicable:

Persons under the age of two years;
Persons observing social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines;
Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition;
Persons working in a business or profession who do not have interactions with other persons;
Persons working in a business or profession who maintain social distancing from another person;
Persons working in a business or profession where the use of a face covering would prevent them from performing the duties of the business or profession;
Persons exercising, while maintaining social distancing;
Persons eating or drinking;
Public safety, fire and other life safety and health care personnel, as their personal protective equipment requirements, will be governed by their respective agencies;
The requirement shall not apply when a person who is hearing-impaired needs to see the mouth of someone wearing a face covering in order to communicate; and
The requirement shall not be applied in a manner that would conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).[4]
 

Truly, the lives and health of your constituents depend on you.

 

 

[1] Zhang, R., et al., “Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA., https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009637117
[2] Leung, N.H.L., et al., “Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks,” Nature Medicine. 26: 676-680 (2020).
[3] https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html (accessed June 23, 2020; emphasis in the original)
[4] https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/20200622-SOF-DOH-Public-Health-Advisory.pdf (accessed June 23, 2020).