Florida Still Sees Record COVID-19 Surge As School Year Begins, But Gov. DeSantis Digs In

Florida continues to be the COVID-19 epicenter of the extremely transmissible delta variant, with file new circumstances and rising hospitalizations as some colleges begin their new 12 months ― however the lethal dilemma doesn’t appear to faze the state’s Republican governor.

Florida recorded an alarming 157,388 new circumstances between Aug. 2 and Aug. 8, bringing the state’s whole circumstances to nearly 2.Eight million, based on knowledge reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that very same time interval, the state noticed 791 new deaths, bringing that whole to 39,934. 

COVID-19 hospitalizations additionally elevated at record-breaking ranges for six consecutive days final week, based on knowledge from the Department of Health and Human Services.

As the brand new delta variant of the illness spreads like wildfire throughout the state, well being officers have seen a fast enhance in extreme infections amongst an age group that was as soon as extensively thought of to be on the lowest threat of significant outcomes from COVID-19: youngsters.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - 2021/08/04: A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a kid at a drive-thru COVID-19 testin



ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES – 2021/08/04: A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a child at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination web site at Barnett Park in Orlando.
The Florida Hospital Association reported 16,935 newly detected circumstances of COVID-19 yesterday and 140 further deaths, as hospitalizations broke a file for the third day. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket through Getty Images)

More youngsters have been hospitalized with COVID-19 on Aug. three than in some other state, based on The Miami Herald. The federal authorities’s hospital capability knowledge reveals that 46 pediatric sufferers have been admitted to a Florida hospital with a confirmed an infection that day, whereas a further 22 have been hospitalized with a suspected case. 

The solely state to report the next whole variety of pediatric sufferers in hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 infections on Tuesday was Texas at 142 youngsters, in comparison with Florida’s 135. It’s unclear if more moderen knowledge will present Florida at the next whole than Texas.

While COVID-19 circumstances have surged in Florida no matter age group, weekly case knowledge evaluation by the Herald reveals that the sharpest spike over the previous month has been amongst youngsters beneath 12 ― the very age group that’s nonetheless not eligible for the vaccine. 

The persistently rising numbers and spike in severe COVID-19 circumstances amongst youngsters haven’t deterred Gov. Ron DeSantis from his agenda opposing vaccine and masks mandates. Along with the state Legislature, DeSantis has restricted native officers’ skill to impose public well being suggestions meant to curb the unfold of the virus.

Last month, the governor introduced an govt order threatening to withhold funds for colleges that impose masks necessities for college students, arguing that oldsters ought to make the selection as an alternative. And with college beginning this week in some Florida districts, many dad and mom are pushing again towards the Republican’s ban.

Families of scholars in colleges throughout Florida filed a lawsuit towards DeSantis on Friday, arguing that masks necessities are a public well being problem and never a “parents’ choice issue” because the governor has framed it, lawyer Charles Gallagher instructed NBC News. The households have college students who Gallagher mentioned are too younger to get vaccinated, have medical situations, or cope with different points that put them at increased threat or will make them endure if they’re denied the precise to a protected college setting.

On Friday, Florida congressional candidate Elvin Dowling sued DeSantis in a separate grievance about barring colleges from requiring college students to put on masks. Dowling is a father to 3 school-aged youngsters in Broward County, and instructed WPTV-TV that he’s “alarmed by the increasing rates of COVID-19 infections in our state, while our feckless governor twiddles his fingers, runs his mouth and thumbs his nose at science.”

Last week, two Florida college districts stepped as much as announce they’d comply with the CDC’s suggestions and require masks once they begin the brand new college 12 months. Four different districts have adopted masks insurance policies since then, together with one within the state capital of Tallahassee. 

“I did a lot of soul searching, a lot of thinking,” Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna mentioned in a press convention. “If, heaven forbid, we lost a child to this virus, I can’t just simply blame the governor of the state of Florida. I can’t.”

On Friday, Florida’s Board of Education permitted an emergency rule granting personal college vouchers for youngsters who really feel harassed by a district’s affordable COVID-19 security insurance policies, together with masks mandates. School districts may also undertake masks necessities so long as dad and mom or authorized guardians of scholars are allowed to opt-out.

But DeSantis dug his ft into the bottom on Monday concerning his ban on masks mandates, asserting that the Board of Education might withhold the salaries of superintendents and college board members who don’t comply. 

“We have established a process that requires consultation with experts in the areas of public health and medicine. We will follow this process, which has served us well, and then make a final decision,” Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who runs the fourth-largest college district within the nation, instructed CBS Miami in a response.

“At no point shall I allow my decision to be influenced by a threat to my paycheck; a small price to pay considering the gravity of this issue and the potential impact to the health and well-being of our students and dedicated employees,” he continued. “I want to thank the Governor for recognizing that students should not be penalized.” 

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