VENICE — Protesters with complaints about the new Venice ordinance for masks took to the city’s sidewalks and to an intersection at Tamiami Trail and Jacaranda Boulevard over the weekend.

Holding signs stating “Masks Won’t Save You,” “Take Back America” and “Stop Forcing Us To Wear Masks,” the group waved flags and marched Saturday morning.

On social media, an Englewood church indicated it was a part of the protest — with a post saying “TAKING IT TO THE STREETS... NO MORE TYRANNY” followed by more photos from the event.

However, when contacted about the protests, they denied organizing the protests.

“And the person who did is not interested in speaking with the media,” the church said via a text message on social media.

The Venice City Council voted 4-3 last week to impose a mask requirement for 30 days.

Experts have noted that use of masks between now and December could prevent the deaths of more than 60,000 Americans.

There is a predication that more than 315,000 Americans will have died due to COVID-19 by December, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The IHME was used early for consistent and accurate information about the coronavirus by the American government.

The wearing of masks would bring that death toll down to about 250,000 by December, according to its website, www.covid19.healthdata.org.

As of Tuesday, more than 180,000 Americans have died due to the pandemic.

The first case of COVID-19 in Florida was at Doctors Hospital in Sarasota on March 1.

In the last six months, more than 7,000 have been hospitalized and more than 200 have died because of COVID-19 in Sarasota County.

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