Volusia County leaders stress the importance of wearing a mask

COVID-19 testing offered at Volusia County Fairgrounds

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Leaders in Volusia County are expected to hold a news conference Friday to provide updates on the County’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Florida nears 5,000 coronavirus deaths as hospitalizations steadily increase

Volusia County starting a campaign three weeks ago titled, backup, mask up, step up and wash up.

“The first thing you need to do is step back from people. If you’re six to 10 feet away from someone, that reduces your chances of having anything happen exponentially,” Ed Kelley, Volusia County Council Chair said.

During the news conference, County officials stressed the need for people to wear a mask when out in public.

“Everyone mask up, and we can bring this thing to his knees,” Kelly said. ”This is not a government mandate. This is a request for you to take some personal responsibility and put a mask on.”

Officials also addressed concerns that those who are testing positive for the coronavirus are leaving their homes.

“I would like to see a $500 penalty or jail time for someone who has tested positive, who is out in the public, wearing a mask or not, that cannot exist, and that’s why our numbers are still a balloon,” Kelley added.

In Daytona Beach, a person caught without a mask could face a $50 fine.

The penalty is a noncriminal infraction. The first offense is a $50 fine. The second offense is a $100 fine and a third offense is a $150 fine.

READ MORE: You could face a $50 fine if you’re caught without a mask in Daytona Beach

In Volusia County, there have been a total of 4,768 positive COVID-19 cases since March, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Friday report.

The county also reported 362 patients have been hospitalized as a result of the coronavirus and 79 people have died after contracting the virus.

MORE: Holly Hill mayor wants symptomatic lane at COVID-19 testing site in Volusia

The Florida Department of Health has posted four free coronavirus testing sites in Volusia County.

Testing is by appointment and testing will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The DOH said appointments can be scheduled through July 24.

Here is a list of the sites:

  • 1845 Holsonback Drive in Daytona Beach and appointments can be made at 386-274-0500
  • 421 S. Keech Street in Daytona Beach and appointments can be made at 386-871-3364
  • 717 W. Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach and appointments can be made at 386-871-3489
  • 775 Harley Strickland Boulevard in Orange County and appointments can be made at 386-871-3405

Tests are available for anyone and symptoms are not required. The DOH said minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to provide consent for testing.

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