Ron DeSantis has said Florida will not be introducing face mask warrants or locks, even as the state reports one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the United States.
The governor of the country’s third most populous state said on Thursday that there had recently been “discussions of people arguing at the federal level” for a mandatory mask mandate for children and adolescents in school.
“We don’t do that in Florida, okay? We need our children to breathe, ”DeSantis said at a press conference Thursday.
“Parents can make decisions as they wish, and we won’t limit that, but we certainly wouldn’t have any mandate over students and parents in the next school year,” the Republican governor said, adding that the state will “never have” more blockades or other mandates.
DeSantis was not alone in pushing back on discussions about mask mandates. Greg Abbott, Republican Governor of Texas, said this week that “children will not be required by governments or schools to wear masks in school” and also ruled out the prospect of a state mandate. .
“With the increase in the Delta variant, you will likely see an increase in the number of parents who choose to have children immunized as well as an increase in the number of teachers who have not yet been vaccinated who are likely to come out and get themselves. vaccinate, ”Abbott said. .
Senior officials in the Biden administration are holding preliminary discussions on revising mask guidelines for vaccinated Americans in response to the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19, multiple media reported this week. The most recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allow fully vaccinated people to forgo masks in most outdoor and indoor environments.
A growing number of cities, counties and states have recommended that residents wear masks indoors even if they have completed their immunization schedule. Los Angeles County went further than the rest and reinstated its mask tenure last weekend.
The CDC also said this month that fully immunized students and staff do not have to wear masks in school buildings, provided other guidelines can be followed, such as an appropriate physical distance between them. offices and a low level of spread of the coronavirus in the local community. A recommendation on Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics calling for anyone over the age of two to wear a face mask when attending school, regardless of Covid-19 vaccination status, has generated some confusion and even elicited a response from Anthony Fauci that the CDC was “carefully reviewing” health guidelines for schools.
Florida accounted for about 22% of all new Covid-19 cases in the United States over the past week, according to CDC data. Adjusted for population, its daily rate of about 38 infections per 100,000 people is second behind Arkansas and more than triple the national average.
The Delta variant made up 36.1% of the state’s sequenced genomes in the four weeks ended July 3, but that’s a lower prevalence level than at least 10 other states, according to the latest CDC figures. .
Texas accounted for about 9% of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past week, the third highest proportion after Florida and California. It averages about 11 infections per 100,000 people per day, which is the national average.