VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood shared in a social media post that he’s not happy with how the Florida Department of Health reports cases of COVID-19.
The sheriff had been posting updates on social media that included cities and areas that had been flagged as locations of possible cases of the coronavirus. Chitwood said that information is no longer being provided by the FDOH because it is time-consuming due to the community spread of the disease.
“The Department of Health just told us that effective immediately, they’re no longer providing us the addresses that are being monitored for COVID-19,” Chitwood said in a post. “Their reasoning is that with so much community spread, the effort is too time-consuming, and all first responders should be wearing personal protective equipment in all close contacts with the public, anyway.”
Chitwood said the problem with that is his deputies only have a limited supply of personal protective equipment.
“We’re going to have to do the best that we can do. Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to assume that everybody has it and hopefully there’s a way with the equipment,” he said.
While Chitwood has said in the past that he is not in favor of a government-enforced face mask mandate, he called on individuals and the private sector to do their part to curb the spread of COVID-19, and for businesses to require face masks when it makes sense.
“I have said that I’m not in favor of a government-enforced mask mandate. I don’t believe it’s the role of my deputies to go out and enforce mask-wearing on people. But I believe the private sector - our grocery stores, restaurants, retailers of all kinds - are in a unique position to create a mask mandate that makes sense,” Chitwood said. “If the store tells me I need to wear a mask to come in and shop for what I need, then I’m wearing a mask. Most of us should be able to agree to that.”