The commonwealth of Virginia is set to become the first U.S state to require that face masks be worn in public places to deter the spread of coronavirus.
Controversial governor Ralph Northam announced that he’s going to mandate the wearing of facemasks in all public places where people congregate during a Tuesday press conference. The Democrat is requiring their use in retail spaces, government facilities, and public transportation. They’re also required in restaurants, except for when people are eating.
The facemask requirement is apparently going to be enforced by Virginia’s Health Department as opposed to law enforcement. The governor’s chief of staff described what he feared would be “tremendous equity issues” if the rule was enforced by law.
Considering it’s doubtful Virginia’s Health Department has the resources or power to ensure that every citizen of the state wear a facemask in all public places, it looks likely that the rule is more of a broad suggestion than a serious public health requirement.
While Northam is requiring that everyday citizens of the state wear facemasks, he hasn’t been so cautious. The controversial governor was caught at the shorefront of Virginia Beach without a facemask, and in close proximity to other people in a fashion that violated social distancing guidelines. The governor later apologized and took responsibility for his refusal to abide by his own health rules.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: It’s Time to Cancel “Everything”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sternly instructed residents of his city to cease all outgoing activities of everyday life, citing the county’s dismal coronavirus prospects, which he states are worse than what the nation’s second-largest city faced in March.
“It’s time to hunker down. It’s time to cancel everything. If it isn’t essential, don’t do it.”
Los Angeles County officials enacted a full coronavirus shutdown for three weeks last week, strictly limiting permissible activities and placing the county in a lockdown similar to those utilized across the country at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are spiking, and county officials are concerned the city’s medical system is unprepared to accommodate a surge in coronavirus cases similar to that seen in New York earlier in the year.
Black Lives Matter protestors have staged nightly protests outside of Garcetti’s house demanding special privileges for individuals charged with felonies. However, the Mayor’s emergency order exempts protest gatherings from restrictions, placing them in the same category as congregating for religious services.
Garcetti was seen congregating in a group of chanting BLM demonstrators earlier in the year. Angelenos can only hope that their neighbors will execute greater discretion in the interest of public health and saving lives than their mayor has.
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