FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A South Florida school district that voted last week to require masks when in-person learning resumes now says it will comply with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order preventing mask mandates in schools.
The Broward County Public Schools board unanimously voted last week to require students, teachers and staff — even those who are vaccinated — to wear facial coverings inside schools when classes begin Aug. 18.
But Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an order empowering the state’s Board of Education to withhold funding from districts that enforce a mask mandate. DeSantis says he wants parents to decide whether their children should wear a mask to school. He also claimed the outbreak is seasonal.
Florida now leads the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19. On Monday, Florida had 10,389 new COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the hospital association. That’s about 200 more than Sunday, when the state broke the previous record set on July 23, 2020, more than a half-year before vaccinations started becoming widespread. It then had 10,170 hospitalizations.