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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis leaving mask mandates, public closures up to local leaders amid latest COVID-19 spike

MIAMI – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will not be ordering a statewide mask mandate despite the recent surge in coronavirus cases.

While there may be no rule across the state, there could still be another local mask mandate put into place.

The spike in cases led to a record number of people getting tested on Monday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. They wanted for miles in the car line and for hours for walk-up testing.

DeSantis repeated Monday what he has said for months, that he’s leaving it to the locals.

Mask mandates, penalties and enforcement necessary to change behavior and stop the spread is up to the counties and cities to enforce.

“We’re not going to do that statewide. We wanted to have a collaborating effort with the locals from the beginning,” DeSantis said. “Different areas have handled this differently based on their facts and circumstances, and even today you see obviously discrepancies throughout the state.”

Local leaders are mulling options, including rules on wearing masks, scaling back re-openings, enforcing curfews and other ways to change the social behavior driving the COVID-19 climb.