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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Masks4All Movement Seeks To Make Face Masks Mandatory

A Sarasota County paramedic, right, stands with members of the Florida National Guard wearing protective face masks during a coronavirus news conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
A Sarasota County paramedic, right, stands with members of the Florida National Guard wearing protective face masks during a coronavirus news conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires social distancing, and the wearing of face masks, according to health officials.

But it can be a challenge to get people to wear them in public when it’s not required.

The wearing of masks during the pandemic has become a cultural flashpoint. This week, a Costco customer posted an angry video rant on social media when he was asked to leave the store for not wearing a mask.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Meanwhile, there’s a global movement to get everyone masked up.

Research scientist Jeremy Howard is co-founder of . His group recently sent an open letter to all U.S. governors that asks them to “require cloth masks to be worn in all public places, such as stores, transportation systems, and public buildings.”

“It’s addressed to every governor. If we can require mask wearing, we can stop this pandemic in its tracks,” Howard said.

Countries with high levels of mask wearing have fewer deaths from COVID 19. However, when mask wearing isn’t mandated, only half the population typically wears them, according to Mask4All.

Melissa Ross can be reached at mross@wjct.org, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit .