Wear a Mask

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Out of curiosity, I counted the number of people not wearing face masks between 3:15 and 3:45 p.m. on my walk between the 10 blocks from Sola and Gutierrez streets and back. I collected my data on Thursday thru Saturday, July 9-11, and on Saturday, July 18. I excluded from my counts people sitting at tables in the outdoor restaurant areas; those on bikes and skate boards, runners, people eating or drinking a beverage while walking, and children that looked as if they were 10 years or younger. While most wore masks, the numbers not doing so were 118 on Thursday, 122 on Friday, 128 on Saturday (July 9-11), and 155 the following Saturday (July 18th). Most of those not wearing a face covering had one in their possession.

The following steps could be taken to decrease the number of people not wearing a face mask in the highly pedestrian trafficked blocks of State Street. Make the signs larger between Sola and Haley streets informing people that face coverings are required. The Downtown Ambassadors (paid city employees who wear red shirts and walk in pairs along downtown State Street) and police officers could politely remind people to wear a face mask, offer a free one if they do not have one, and then move on whether or not the person complied. I believe the vast majority of those not wearing face masks will do so either immediately or the next time they are on the pedestrian only streets downtown.

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