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Florida governor blocks school mask mandates, says parents can choose

CoronavirusJul 31, 2021 04:55PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Florida Governor Ron Desantis speaks during a campaign rally by U.S. President Donald Trump at Pensacola International Airport in Pensacola, Florida, U.S., October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo/File Photo

By Rich McKay

(Reuters) -Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Friday blocking mask mandates in the state's schools, saying parents had the right to decide if their children would wear face coverings.

The move by DeSantis, a Republican who has opposed strict COVID-19 rules on residents and businesses, overrules a requirement by two Florida counties, Broward and Gadsen, that students cover their faces when they return to class next month.

“In Florida, there will be no lockdowns, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions and no mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in announcing his executive order during a speech in southwest Cape Coral.

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) Co., which operates the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, ordered all U.S. salaried and non-union hourly employees to get the COVID vaccine.

Disney on Thursday said all guests to the theme park would be required to wear masks.

Mask orders and mandatory vaccines in the United States have drawn stiff opposition from conservatives who say such steps violate constitutional freedoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing a surge in coronavirus infections linked to the more contagious Delta variant, has urged all students, teachers and staff to wear masks when the school year begins regardless of vaccine status.

The move by DeSantis puts him at odds with local political leaders in Miami-Dade and Orange counties, and the city of Palm Beach, all of whom previously defied his orders suspending all COVID-19 clampdowns and prohibiting mask and vaccine mandates.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said this week the county would again require all adults, vaccinated or not, to wear masks when inside county buildings and facilities. Palm Beach, home to former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort and residence, did the same on Monday.

In Orange County, home to Disney World, Mayor Jerry Demings said all 4,200 nonunion county employees would be required to get the vaccine, with a deadline for a first dose by Aug. 31.

"We want to keep our county and theme parks open for business," Demings said at a news conference Wednesday, adding the measures will ensure everyone knows that Orange County takes COVID seriously.

Florida governor blocks school mask mandates, says parents can choose
 

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Comments (4)
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Aug 01, 2021 3:06PM ET
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Dems: Free housing for all !!Reps: Free Covid 19 for all !!
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Aug 01, 2021 12:18AM ET
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Trump, Biden, De Santis...Really?? I think Zimbabwe, got a better selection of presidents.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Jul 31, 2021 8:10PM ET
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Next president
Dan Hodel
Dan Hodel Jul 31, 2021 8:10PM ET
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Please run him! Is he going to be Trump’s vice president? Maybe Trump can be his vice president! Good luck with that! #losers
Dan Hodel
Dan Hodel Jul 31, 2021 8:10PM ET
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It’s only a matter of time that the Con talks about the ugly wife! MAGA! My accountants got arrested! Lol!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 31, 2021 5:06PM ET
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Dealth rate in kids is much much lower than flu. If parents r vaccinated, there is no point of masking the kids.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 31, 2021 5:06PM ET
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The point is to prevent them from spreading it to other kids. Not every decision has to be selfish/self centered
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 31, 2021 5:06PM ET
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Benjamin McIntire The point is all parents should be vaccinated. If flu k/i/l ls kids more, why dont they wear mask every flu season or all year round? Just Stop the panic
 
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