JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The City of Jacksonville is going to start requiring people to wear masks in public indoor settings starting at 5 p.m. today.
The mandate is for public and indoor locations, and in other situations where individuals cannot socially distance. The city did not state how the mandate will be enforced.
If you are under 6 years old, you do not have to wear a mask, according to the city. You can also take it off to eat and drink when in a public indoor setting. The city also says do not need to wear a mask while you work out in a gym if you can socially distance from others.
City spokesperson Nikki Kimbleton made the announcement on behalf of Mayor Lenny Curry. Curry was not at the media briefing due to a very important family commitment.
“Healthcare experts advise masks and cloth face coverings help slow the spread from individuals with COVID-19 to vulnerable populations including from those who are asymptomatic,” said Kimbleton. “We continue to urge everybody please practice personal responsibility do your part to please practice personal responsibility, do your part to please help stop the spread of this virus.”
The City’s Chief of Staff, Jordan Elsbury, says they made the decision this morning after a conference call with Jacksonville hospitals.
The order also extends to the Beaches and Baldwin.
Kimbleton also announced that there will be six more testing sites available in Mandarin, the Westside, Arlington, the Northside and the Beaches. For the beaches communities, the city plans on working with Telescope Health to offer mobile testing throughout Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville Beaches. The testing site at Lot J will also be moved indoors so it will not be impacted by weather.
Sheriff Mike Williams said that there are 178 COVID-19 positive inmates in Duval County jails. 50 have released, but there are still 128 positive inmates still in the jail. Williams says the State Attorney is looking at cases for potential early release. 19 correction officers tested positive and 70 are being quarantined. JFRD Chief Keith Powers said 33 firefighters have tested positive and 232 are currently in quarantine.
There are no plans to close the beaches ahead of July 4.