U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Reflects Sun Belt Outbreaks

So officials in some parts of the country are putting their foot down.

In Miami Beach, Fla., officials have issued more than $14,000 in fines to people who refuse to wear masks, though most of that has not been collected, The Miami Herald reported on Tuesday. Fines under the mask rule, which took effect last month, start at $50 per infraction but can reach $500 if left unpaid. (An earlier version of this item mistakenly said those figures were for the city of Miami.)

And the state of Illinois, where coronavirus cases have been rising, enacted a measure on Friday making it a felony to assault a retail worker who is enforcing a mask-wearing policy.

But the sheriff of Marion County, Fla., which includes Ocala, has come down hard on the opposite side. Sheriff Billy Woods has ordered his deputies not to wear masks on duty, except in limited situations, and has forbidden visitors to sheriff’s offices to wear them.

Sheriff Woods said the purpose of his order, which was first reported by The Ocala Star-Banner, was to improve communication, because officers’ voices can be muffled behind a mask. He made exceptions for officers at the county courthouse,