The city's policy does not include a timeline, so it's unclear if the order will still be in place in late August. But Mary Jo Trepka, a Florida International University professor of epidemiology, said a political convention remains a risky event, even if masks are worn.
"Masks are fantastic and an important first step but I don't think that's going to be enough," she said. "They really need to figure out how to reduce the density of people or reduce the duration of time people are together."
Trepka said "it's hard to predict" what Florida's outbreak will look like in August, or in the fall, when an Oct. 15 presidential town hall-style debate is scheduled for Miami, the city with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. But she said, given the current number of infections being confirmed daily, it's unlikely either event will be held without the specter of spreading the virus.
"I would really like to be wrong but I suspect there will still be COVID-19 in the community in October," Trepka said.
DeSantis on Monday said his administration is working closely with the city of Jacksonville, and reiterated that he's left decisions on local mandates up to mayors. During a Sunday news conference, DeSantis said he expects the state to have contained its escalating outbreak by late August.
"We always said, 'Look, we are still a work in progress. We're gonna try to get to yes,'" he said. "We're in a dynamic situation so, they know that. But I think we'll be fine by that time. It's a couple months away, and we look forward to seeing that."
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