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Poll: Majority of Floridians support statewide mask mandate

Most would also be in favor of keeping public schools closed this fall

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis puts on his mask as he leaves a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis puts on his mask as he leaves a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

An overwhelming majority of Floridians are in favor of a statewide order requiring people to wear masks while they’re out in public, according to a recent survey by the University of South Florida.

The survey also found strong support for among Floridians for keeping public schools closed this fall while the state continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, which the Department of Health credits with contributing to the deaths of more than 9,000 people.

Researchers’ findings are based on a survey of 600 Floridians from July 30 through Aug. 10. Of those polled, 23% were from Southeast Florida, 18% from Central Florida, 17% from the Tampa Bay area, 14% from Northeast Florida, 11% from Southwest Florida, 10% from Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, and 7% from Northwest Florida.

Questions examined the public’s level of concern about COVID-19, trust in public health guidelines, school reopening plans, face masks and political rallies, among other topics.

Perhaps the most significant finding was that 87 percent of those polled said they would support a mask mandate, including 73 percent who said they would strongly support such an order.

Another big takeaway was that just shy of three-quarters of those surveyed (73%) would back a decision to close public schools this fall, 54 percent of whom said they would strongly support that move.

Below you’ll find the survey results: