Despite spike in cases, Marion County has no plans for mask mandate

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Marion County has seen a major spike in COVID-19 cases in Marion County, but there are still no plans to make face masks mandatory.

In the past month, positive COVID-19 cases have spiked in Marion County. On June 1, the county had 250 cases. Now it’s closing in on 1,000.

“Coronavirus

The city of Ocala and Marion County both told Eyewitness News that neither have plans as of right now to make masks mandatory.

Read: Average age of new Florida COVID-19 cases only 21 as state’s infection rate continues to climb, governor says

Health officials said they have discussed a mask mandate with Marion County leaders, but so far, one hasn’t been put into place.

Health administrator Mark Lander said they are seeing “a much younger population being affected.”

“When this first started, we were looking at a median age of around 57. And now when you look at what we’re seeing in the community, we’re down to around 40 years old as a median age,” Lander said. “So we’re seeing a lot more of the younger (population), between 18 to 35, that are being affected.”

Read: Miami-Dade County closes sit-down dining, other indoor venues again after spike in coronavirus cases

Lander said the spike can be attributed to younger people not taking precautions, like wearing masks.

Myrt Price

Myrt Price, WFTV.com

Myrt Price joined the eyewitness news team as a general assignment reporter in October of 2012.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.