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A Key West team is expected to enforce a new mandate allowing people to go maskless outdoors if they are 6ft apart – an impossible task among partygoers. This feature from Jessica Glenza in Key West, Florida.
Key West code enforcement officer Paul Navarro was halfway through his shift and beginning to see signs of trouble. The crowds on lower Duval Street swelled just after 9pm, and social distancing quickly became impossible on the sidewalks.
Navarro is the last line of defense against the high-risk behaviors which spread Covid-19 and is one of the principal enforcers of the Florida city’s mask mandate – an effort to protect public health and the local economy. Until 16 September part of that balancing act had included a strict mask mandate, now that rule has been loosened.
Patricia Hanson, from rural Crawfordville, approached Navarro to question him vigorously about whether Key West’s mask mandate makes allowances for federal disability rights laws (it does).
“I feel they are not following science, I feel they’re out of fear, and I feel a lot of the politicians who are telling us to wear them are not wearing them themselves,” said Hanson, 50. If her health was “compromised”, she would want to reach “herd immunity as soon as possible”, she said, referencing a discredited Covid-19 containment strategy that experts say would mean more than 200 million people would have to recover from the disease to halt the epidemic.
In the UK: Dentists face a “tsunami” of untreated tooth decay because children have been kept away from dental surgeries during lockdown.
Half of parents in the UK said their children had missed a check-up since March, according to an Opinium survey for the Association of Dental Groups (ADG), which represents practices across the country.
The survey of 2,000 people included 622 parents, with 31% saying their family had decided not to go for a check-up or make an appointment. Another 13% said they had not been able to get an appointment – a sign of the growing problem of delays caused by the pandemic.
Dental practices were forced to shut after coronavirus hit, but have been allowed to reopen since 8 June.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, there was a sense that western Sydney – despite its challenges – was on the up. With a booming population, it had become the third-biggest economy in Australia, trailing only the Sydney CBD and Melbourne.
And with an international airport on the way and plenty of infrastructure spending by the state government, there was optimism it would continue to generate jobs and economic growth.
Its population growth has outpaced Sydney as a whole every year for the past six years. That made it an economic engine, fuelling population-serving industries such as construction and retail. But the growth had a hidden weakness: the labour market.
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As Victoria reaches the end of its second wave of the coronavirus, the focus is now on ensuring a third wave doesn’t hit as Australia heads into summer.
Guardian Australia spoke to leading epidemiologists about the lessons learned from other countries, particularly in Europe, that are experiencing a resurgence in cases.
What does Australia need to do to avoid a third wave? Lessons from other parts of the world show we should lock down early, rely on evidence – and get used to wearing masks.