New Jersey ‘indefinitely’ postpones plan to restart indoor dining after COVID-19 spikes in other states

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Jacksonville, Florida, is adopting a mandatory mask policy for public gatherings in indoor locations, as well as any other scenario where social distancing isn’t feasible. The mandate goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday. The news probably won’t thrill President Trump, since Jacksonville is the new home to the Republican National Convention.

The convention was initially slated to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, but Trump clashed with the state’s Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over social distancing guidelines, prompting other cities to seek the spotlight (formal portions of the convention will still take place in Charlotte because of contractual obligations). Trump told Cooper he didn’t “want to be sitting in a place that’s 50 percent empty,” and that attendees should wear masks only if they choose to.

Eventually, Jacksonville won the derby to host Trump’s nomination acceptance. Now that Florida is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, though, the situation has changed, at least when it comes to the optional mask wearing Trump had hoped for — otherwise, Trump and the RNC are reportedly still committed to holding the event in Jacksonville. Of course, the convention is scheduled to take place between Aug. 24 and 27, so the mask requirement could be lifted by then. Tim O’Donnell

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