A South Florida resident is taking matters into her own hands. She is pushing to make face masks mandatory in St. Lucie County. The petition was posted on Change.org and is close to reaching its goal.

"It's not good enough that only 1/2 of the local population are wearing masks," Susan Rhodes wrote. "We will never recover medically or financially this way."

Rhodes created the petition after neighboring areas passed their own mandate.

Martin County requires some employees to wear masks Palm Beach County is set to vote on its own face covering measure on June 23. 

She is directing the petition to the St. Lucie Department of Health and county officials, who have the power to enact such a requirement. So far, it has received nearly 2,183 signatures, with a goal of 2,500. Rhodes has also written a letter to Governor DeSantis.

The petition comes at a time when South Florida has seen back-to-back highs in COVID-19 cases. On June 20, the state recorded about 4,700 positive cases.

DeSantis has repeatedly been hesitant to issue a statewide mandate.

"I just don't think that that's a reasonable thing," he said during a press conference."In terms of forcing that under penalty of criminal law, you know, we're not going to be doing that."

Many counties and cities tried to tackle the face covering debate on their own.

In the midst of a record-breaking stretch of novel coronavirus cases in the state, some counties have begun issuing face mask ordinances. Orange County and the City of Tampa were the latest to issue the mandates.

Rhodes sees it not as a political edict, but as a way for people to stay safe in uncertain times.

"This not a political pandemic, it's a medical & world pandemic. Please look into your heart and do what you know is right for the people of this state. This isn’t going to go away without proper measures in place. Floridians will recover only if you help us," Rhodes wrote.

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