A sheriff in the US state of Florida has forbidden his officers to wear face masks. Wearing a protective face covering against the coronavirus is also prohibited for visitors to his police station.
Billy Woods, the sheriff in Marion County, notified his staff of the ban by email Tuesday.
“When you are on duty / when one of my employees starts working when you represent my agency, you don’t wear a face mask,” Woods wrote to his approximately 900 employees.
The police officer makes exceptions for officers who work in prisons, schools and hospitals and for cases where someone is suspected of having the new coronavirus.
The state of Florida, was wearing a face mask is not mandatory but recommended, is one of the hot spots of the corona outbreak in the United States.
The so-called Sunshine State reported its highest daily death toll to date on Tuesday. 276 had died in 24 hours from the effects of the corona. On Wednesday, 212 deaths were reported.
In total, in the state, to which many retirees move, 8765 people have died from the effects of Covid-19. In the state of 21 million residents, more than 550,000 people have been infected so far.
The scientific community recommends wearing a mask as an essential tool to stop the spread of the pandemic.
However, many Americans see an obligation to wear a face mask as a restriction on their personal freedom. The mask has thus become the subject of political discussion in the US.