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Medical Groups Say Classrooms Should Stay Closed

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The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Representatives of four statewide medical organizations joined with the Florida PTA and sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, asking that the state not reopen school campuses next month.

“(We) feel it is illogical to complete a school year in person that is capable of being completed, as has been proven in the last 30 days, virtually via distance learning,” the letter, sent Tuesday, said. “The risk of encouraging a second yet equally dangerous secondary spread of the virus does not outweigh any potential reward of saving one month of school.”

The letter, which was also sent to Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, was signed by the  physician presidents of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association and the Florida Academy of Family Physicians.

The Florida Medical Association, the state’s largest physician group, did not sign onto the letter. DeSantis said last week that he had not decided about whether to reopen campuses after May 1 for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. DeSantis raised the possibility that some students could return to classrooms sooner than others.

“We’re going to make the best decision that we can, but it may be that not every county is going to be treated the same in this,” the governor told reporters. “There is nothing wrong with that. If the problem is different in certain parts of the state, we should recognize that.”

Fedrick Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association statewide teachers’ union, also sent a letter Tuesday to DeSantis asking that school campuses remain closed and students continue distance learning.