A Florida sheriff has banned staff from wearing face masks at work.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods’s order also includes visitors to the office.

It is thought to be the first such mask ban for US law enforcement.

Sheriff Woods said it was vital that officers’ orders were clearly understood and that anyone coming to the station be identifiable.

Florida is one of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 550,000 cases and 8,700 deaths.

Sherriff Woods’ order, issued on Tuesday, has some exemptions, including for those working in jails where the infection risk is higher, or at the county courthouse, hospitals or schools.

More than 200 inmates at the county’s jail have tested positive, according to the Ocala-Star Banner, which first reported on the mask ban.

At least 36 jail employees have also tested positive, and an infected nurse who worked there has died.

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