Not an easy job….
Since the road reopened on June 1, infections have leaped twelvefold. The rest of Florida has been gripped by the coronavirus, with more than 461,000 cases and over 6,500 deaths. Thursday was the third day in a row that Florida broke its record for the most deaths reported in a single day.
Yet the experience in Key West, which had made a living off providing a place to escape the world’s troubles, shows that while adopting state and local mask regulations may be politically difficult, making sure they are obeyed can be just as hard.
More than 30 states and an even larger number of cities have enacted a hodgepodge of mask ordinances and executive orders, but many municipalities are barely enforcing them.
Several sheriffs in Colorado and New Mexico have openly defied local rules and publicly refused to carry them out. In California, some city officials publicly warned of harsh penalties but now acknowledge that no one has been ticketed.
A spokesman for the Boston Police Department stressed that it was not enforcing mask rules because Massachusetts has no law requiring masks, which is true. He did not respond when asked about the order the governor issued in May that provided for a $300 fine for not wearing masks in stores, on mass transit and in taxis.
In a summer that has seen enormous protests of people fighting excessive use of force by the police, many law enforcement agencies have been hesitant to take on a politically divisive issue like masks. Code enforcement officers like Ms. Kobylas in Key West often lack law enforcement training, and many have lost their jobs to city cutbacks….
image…Key West, a city of about 25,000 on the southernmost edge of the continental United States, managed to hold off the coronavirus for several months after the county put checkpoints on the only road into town, keeping visitors out.