Curry: There’s Been ‘Disconnect’ On Importance Of Wearing Masks In Jacksonville

May 21, 2020

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is continuing to urge people to wear masks in public settings, saying he thinks there’s a “disconnect of the importance of it” among residents. 

“This is not something we’re accustomed to,” Curry said.

Curry said in conversations with health leaders, he’s been told to continue stressing the importance of mask-wearing when face-to-face interactions are unavoidable. 

As the city’s leaders decide how they’re going to bring their employees back to government buildings, Curry said they’ll require masks where people are unavoidably close to one another.

“There is nothing weak about it. It is simply being responsible,” Curry said. 

At the same time, Curry said the decrease in the number of cases in Duval County over the past month is directly related to preventative measures taken by its residents. 

The overall percentage of positive COVID-19 cases in Jacksonville as compared to overall tests completed is continuing to dip, now sitting at 3%, according to Curry. 

Although there won’t be an in-person Jacksonville Memorial Day Ceremony this year,  there will be a virtual event held Monday on the city’s YouTube Channel at 8 a.m, Curry announced. It will include remarks from local leaders and military leadership, along with live music. 

At the beaches, there will be additional law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel on Memorial Day. They will be prepared to break up any large crowds that don’t follow social distancing. 

Three new testing locations are opening at CVS area pharmacies. The sites will be by appointment only, and are located at: 

  • 4475 San Juan Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32210
  • 430 State Rd 13, Jacksonville, FL 32259
  • 4280 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216

Related: Coronavirus Q & A, including list of testing sites

Financially, Curry said Jacksonville is doing well to rebound, keep people working and provide for their families, thanks to the small business loan program and mortgage, rent, and utility relief program. 

As of Thursday morning, nearly 25,000 households have received $1,000 prepaid cards from the relief program. 

On Sunday, May 24, the relief program appointment location will be closed at the Ed Ball building, and all remaining appointments will take place at the Main Library branch. That location will be closed on Memorial Day. 

Curry also discussed the reopening of vacation rentals. 

“By getting these businesses back up and running in a responsible way, we are stabilizing elements of our economy that have been disrupted by the pandemic,” Curry said.

Wednesday the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation approved Duval County’s plan to reopen short-term vacation rentals, with some additional guidelines in place. 

Sky Lebron can be reached at slebron@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.