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OPINION

LETTER: Okaloosa, please issue a mask mandate

Staff Writer
Northwest Florida Daily News
Northwest Florida Daily News

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In light of the exponential increase of positive COVID-19 cases, I encourage the Okaloosa County Commission to immediately introduce and pass an emergency ordinance requiring a protective mask or appropriate face covering for all public buildings and outdoors where social distancing (6 feet) cannot be maintained.

Nearly everyone has accepted and complies with not smoking in public places to protect the health and well being of others. Why not extend the same consideration by wearing a mask to a known and immediate deadly threat? It's simple to explain and enforce ... anywhere SMOKING is not permitted, masks are required.

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In recent weeks after the beaches opened and lodging restrictions lifted, the percentage of those wearing a mask significantly dropped. The majority of local residents are considerate and wear a mask in public, but those on vacation are far less considerate or caring. Their attitude appears, "I'm on vacation so why should I wear a mask!"

It is time again for the board to step up and fulfill their responsibility to protect the residents of Okaloosa County as they courageously did with the closing of the beaches, and require everyone to mask up for the benefit of all.

Thank you for your service and thoughtful consideration.

John Dezzutto, Fort Walton Beach