Florida site of GOP convention orders wearing of masks

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"You know, I don't think it's too complicated to wear a mask or wash your hands, follow basic hygiene protocols", he continued.

The Florida city of Jacksonville is set to require that face coverings be worn indoors beginning 5:00 p.m. Monday, less than two months before the Republican National Convention kicks off in the city.

Republicans this month moved their national convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, after disagreements with Gov. Roy Cooper (D) about whether it could be held - according to Cooper's characterization - "with no face coverings and no social distancing".

The city's order could still be in effect in late August, when Jacksonville's VyStar Arena is scheduled to host all of the speeches during the RNC, including President Trump's acceptance speech on Aug. 27.

The city's mayor, Lenny Curry, was not present at the news conference.

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Jordan Elsbury, the city's chief of staff, said officials came to the decision after speaking with Jacksonville hospitals. The letter, which was delivered to Curry this past weekend, also urged officials to require masks.

"It is extremely risky and contrary to current public health recommendations to stage a large event in an area where the number of cases is surging. The RNC should be postponed or very significantly reduced in numbers because of these risks", the open letter states.

As of Monday, Duval County, which has a population of over 957,000, had reported 5,839 positive cases of the Chinese coronavirus and 64 related deaths since March 1.

Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama is running a new television ad commending people in his state for following the advice of medical professionals and wearing masks, as top Republicans pressure President Donald Trump to encourage Americans to wear them to limit the spread of coronavirus.

McEnany said she had talked to the president before the briefing to get his thinking and "it's the personal choice of any individual as to whether to wear a mask or not".

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