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No mask mandate planned in Palm Beach County, mayor says

File photo of a resident wearing a mask in Palm Beach County.jpg
Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 19:47:32-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County's mayor admitted Wednesday the COVID-19 updates he's getting are not good.

"It is starting to get very worrisome," said Mayor Dave Kerner.

Rising cases and declining vaccinations, yet Kerner said there seems to be little desire to return to a mask mandate in the county, even as the CDC recommends masks again even for the vaccinated.

"It should be no surprise to anybody that wearing a mask, particularly with the introduction of Delta variant, can be a very effective tool," Kerner said. "But I also think a practical perspective is that mandates are not part the dialogue."

A big part of the reason is Gov. Ron DeSantis' decision not to allow counties that authority.

Still, doctors in the area who are seeing more people hospitalized with COVID-19 are urging mask wearing.

"It's a mild to moderate inconvenience, but it definitely works. As I understand, people say masks don't work. That is not true. It works for a lot of diseases, not just COVID," said Dr. Larry Bush.

Health experts and the county mayor continue to push for the unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

Kerner said the vaccination rate among Palm Beach County employees is not where it should be and he is not ruling out mandatory vaccinations for workers.

"I absolutely think that we could. Whether we choose to make that policy decision or not is not my place to make unilaterally," Kerner said.

That decision would be up to commissioners and then there's Florida's governor who's made it clear he is against mandatory vaccinations.