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The number of positive COVID-19 cases has been rising exponentially since re-opening. Florida is one of the epicenters of the rise, logging some of the most significant numbers in the country. According to the Florida Department of Health on July 1, 9558 new cases were reported. This was a 31% rise over the day before, June 30th, in which 6,605 cases were reported.
As a result after opening for just over a month, Broward County authorities issued order 20-19 closing the beaches for the Fourth of July weekend. Just a few days after issuing Emergency Order 20-19, County authorities issued another Emergency Order, 20-20, requiring face masks be used in public spaces, even outdoors.
On the heels of Emergency Order 20-19 the County issued Emergency Order 20-20. The use of masks have been heavily disputed with people adopting a variety of opinions. Some believe the use of the masks is necessary and wear them at all times. Some people do not have strong opinions either way but comply because they are required to. And lastly, there are others, like a woman that spoke in front of the Palm Beach County Commission that vehemently disagreed with the use of masks saying it went against her God-given right to breathe.
Opine as you will, believe what you want but dura lex, sed lex. In other words the law may be harsh, but it is the law and we must comply for the greater good.
The use of masks outdoors had people indignant and questioning why must I use a mask outdoors if there is nobody around ? The question is a valid one because it may not be necessary to do so in all outdoor spaces all the time. Emergency Order 20-20 does that take that into account, clearly specifying the following :
Section 2. Facial Coverings Requirements.
A. Facial Coverings Required in All Public Spaces Where Social Distancing Cannot Be Maintained. All persons in Broward County must wear a facial covering in public spaces while outside the geographical boundaries of their residence if social Broward County Emergency Order 20-20 Page 2 of 6 distancing of at least six feet (6′) between persons not of the same household cannot be consistently maintained, unless expressly excepted herein. Facial coverings must cover the person’s nose and mouth and comply with the CDC recommendations located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-facecoverings.html.
So yes, masks are required outdoors, but only when you cannot maintain a safe social distance of at least 6 feet.
This current situation is new to all of us, but it is temporary. Until we can learn and understand more about COVID-19 it is in our best interest, as individuals and as a community, to comply. In complying we are not giving up our rights, but rather are showing ourselves to be sensible and respectful of ourselves and our fellow humans.
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Désirée Ávila EDITOR, PUBLISHER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, REALTOR® Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 35 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida REALTOR® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism. Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the GRI, PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR®, SRES and SFR®. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to REALTORS® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry. She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a REALTOR® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others. She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.
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Broward has a good, awesome rule for its outdoor mask mandate by allowing a person to fully breathe if a distance of six feet is maintained. I usually like to stand at least five feet away from any person anyway! Any mayor, governor, or other politician should remember that the Corona virus is a weak, puny RNA virus that is not necessarily deadly to any person, but taking away a person’s intake of oxygen can be deadly!