Naples mayor says city will consider mask mandate amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Reporter: Taylor Smith Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

You might have to wear your mask while walking around Naples streets if the city decides to enforce a mask mandate. Local doctors are on board with this type of requirement to work against the number of cases on the rise.

Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann said the city is considering the mask mandate Friday because they think it would help the number of cases from escalating.

“Using face coverings as a mitigation strategy has been proven to show a reduction in the spread of COVID-19,” Heitmann told WINK News.

But we got a mixed review from people who live here.

“I think at this time it is a good idea to use the mask, especially this area on 5th Ave. going to different restaurants,” said Anthony Ruggiero in Naples.

“I’m not quite sure it’s a great idea,” said Oksana Pomerlian in Naples. “Personally, I don’t like it. I don’t see enough reasons to wear it.”

Some say they don’t think people are taking the pandemic seriously, and a mask mandate would help.

“It would be a little annoying, but I think it’s the right thing to do,” Ruggiero said.

But others are not so sure they think wearing a mask is worth it.

“Life is here to enjoy, not to put us in houses and masks,” Pomerlian said. “Plus, it looks horrible, and it’s hard breathing.”

NCH Dr. Benjamin Abo said he is on board with the idea to mandate mask in public during the COVID-19 uptick in the region and the state.

“I fully support it,” Abo said. “I think the big problem of why we are seeing other big surges more than just a continuing flattened curve is because a lot of people are acting like it’s not a problem. And they don’t wear the mask at all.”

A survey conducted by the National Center for Assisted Living says more than half of the communities are showing less than two week’s supply of personal protective equipment.

But Dr. Abo says, even if there was a mask mandate, he thinks Collier County would be able to handle the surge in buying masks just fine.

“The more people mask up, the less we need to be wearing and going through the N95s because I think that our increases in cases are going to continue to go down and maintaining,” Abo said. “So supply and demand will level out pretty well.”

There are still questions that would need to be answered that include how to enforce a mask mandate.

We have reached out to Collier County Board of County Commissioners to see if commissioners will be talking about this in any upcoming meetings.

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