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DeSantis: Florida will not require students to wear masks despite COVID-19 Delta variant

Governor Ron DeSantis will not mandate masks in Florida schools
Governor Ron DeSantis will not mandate masks in Florida schools

Governor Ron DeSantis says he will not mandate masks for children in school in the state of Florida.

However, the decision will ultimately rely on individual school districts.

“There’s been talk about potentially people advocating at the federal level imposing compulsory masks on kids — we’re not doing that in Florida, OK? We need our kids to breathe,” the Florida Governor declared during a press conference, Thursday.

“We need our kids to be able to be kids,” he continued. “We need them to be able to breathe. It’s terribly uncomfortable for them to do it.”

The rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which is more contagious and even infecting vaccinated people, is raising new concerns about mask-wearing for the upcoming school year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ “COVID Guidance for Safe Schools” recommends all eligible individuals receive the vaccine, and that all students older than two years of age, plus all school staff, should wear masks at school — regardless of vaccination status.

As of July 9, the CDC recommends masks for anyone over two, if they’re not fully vaccinated. Press Secretary Jen Psaki says there are no changes to that guidance as of now.

“There has been no decision to change our mask guidelines,” she said.

Earlier this week, Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said his thinking on optional mask-wearing next school year has not changed.

“Our position at the point remains the same — mask optional as we return back to school,” he said.

On the other hand, Broward County’s Superintendent Robert Runcie has recommended masks be strongly recommended for the upcoming school year. However, not mandatory.

About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.