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DeSantis Says Florida Won't Enforce Face Masks, Lockdowns As Cases Surge Again

Photo: Ron DeSantis
Photo: Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis says there won’t be another round of mask mandates at public schools in Florida ahead of the new school year, even as cases surge in the state.

DeSantis’ comments came at a press conference at Indian River State College today, where he introduced a new program that will send free books home to K-5 readers. 

The governor says some schools used face masks last year, while others didn’t with similar results, which is why most districts in the state won’t require them this August.

And he says he plans on fighting any kind of federal mask mandate in schools from the Biden administration. 

“But there is going to be it looks like a campaign from Washington to try to change that. And I’ve talked to Chris Sprowls, if we need to bring them back in to be able to do something from the legislative perspective he’s all in to be able to do it.”

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President Joe Biden says he expects the CDC will recommend but not force kids and teachers who haven’t been vaccinated to wear facial coverings. 

DeSantis says there won’t be any more lockdowns in Florida either.

The governor says there are three vaccines that are widely available in the state and so it’s up to residents to get the shot, but otherwise to make health decisions that are best for them.

“You're not getting that done in Florida. I’m going to protect people’s livelihoods, I’m going to protect kids' right to go to school, I’m going to protect people’s right to run their small businesses.”

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One in five new coronavirus cases across the country currently is reported in Florida.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.