Why aren't more people wearing masks?

As coronavirus cases surge in many parts of the country, officials are urging or even requiring people to wear a mask.

At least 20 states now mandate face coverings in public where social distancing isn't possible.

"The evidence could not be clearer. Wearing a mask is not only safe but it is necessary to avoid another shutdown," said Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.

While a growing body of research shows face masks can help curb the spread of COVID-19, many people have refused to wear one, saying it infringes on personal liberties.

One group in Sanford, Florida even held a protest against a mask mandate there.

"This is not about whether or not if you're for masks or against masks, it's about you doing what's in the best interest for your family, for your community, but you making that decision," said Abraham Lopez, an organizer of the protest.

Masks opponents argue it violates their freedom, but officials say wearing one will actually give people more freedom, by preventing transmission and allowing businesses to reopen.

"As much as none of us like this, just try to be patient and doing the right things, if we adhere what the doctors are telling us, doing the right things will get us out of this quicker than not doing it," said Seminole County Commissioner Jay Zembower.

It's not just the public health crisis to consider. A study from Goldman Sachs finds a national mask mandate could also help the economy and potentially substitute for renewed lockdowns.

Continuing Coverage

Downtown Phoenix vintage clothing store doesn't mince words on mask wearing

The shop's owner says she previously offered masks to customers to stay healthy, but some people were angered by it.

LIST: Arizona cities with face mask requirements

Coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket in Arizona and now, several cities are looking at possible mask mandates.

Arizona faces new closures as hospitals prep for coronavirus surge

Arizona and several other states that were reopening their economies have clamped back down over the past week as they eclipsed records for infections and hospitalizations. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, however, went further than others by ordering gyms and movie theaters to close and postponing the start of school until mid-August.

Vice President Pence backs Arizona business closures in coronavirus hotspot

Vice President Mike Pence was joined by White House officials on his visit to Phoenix on July 1, listening to Governor Doug Ducey's requests for help as the widespread coronavirus grows. FOX 10's Justin Lum reports.

Nurses, doctors feel strain as virus races through Arizona

Arizona has quickly become one of the biggest hotspots in the world for COVID-19, and medical professionals in the state are feeling the strain.