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Florida mayor forms strike teams to enforce coronavirus mask mandate

Written by on July 17, 2020

Owners of businesses in the Florida county that includes Orlando are facing stepped-up enforcement of a countywide coronavirus mask mandate, according to reports.

“We will be putting together some strike teams that will be going out into the community, to ensure that we get better compliance from the businesses with the executive orders and the other CDC directives that have been put in place,” Jerry Demings, the mayor of Orange County said Thursday.

The action comes as Florida’s virus outbreak continues to surge out of control.

A guests gets her temperature taken before entering the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., July 11. Disney reopened two Florida parks, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, Saturday with limited capacity and safety protocols in place. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

A guests gets her temperature taken before entering the official reopening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., July 11. Disney reopened two Florida parks, the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, Saturday with limited capacity and safety protocols in place. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Nearly 12,000 Floridians tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday. The number of virus cases in the state now totals 327,000.

12 FLORIDA EMERGENCY OPERATIONS EMPLOYEES TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, CENTER TEMPORARILY CLOSES FOR CLEANING

There were 128 COVID-19 deaths Thursday, the third day in a row more than 100 people died in the state from the virus.

Demings wants the strike teams to target theme parks, gyms, retail shops and restaurants that have been the subject of mask complaints, WKMG-TV reported.

The establishments won’t be tipped off that the inspectors are coming.

Masks were required in Orange County public places last month.

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Demings said warnings will be issued that could lead to a business being shuttered, the station reported.

“Not sure that they’ll shut down on site unless it was egregious,” he said, according to the station. “It should be rare they shut anyone down on the spot.”

Ninoshka Rodriguez told WESH-TV that she sees a lot of people in Orange County without masks.

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“They’re just walking around like nothing and that’s how you get sick,” she said. “That’s how you spread the virus more.”

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