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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

DeSantis Says Florida Won't Enforce Masks, Lockdowns As Cases Surge

: Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis said it is up to Florida residents to get vaccinated, but to make health decisions they believe are best for themselves.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says there won’t be another round of mask mandates at public schools, even as cases surge in the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says there won’t be another round of mask mandates at public schools in Florida this fall, even as cases surge in the state.

DeSantis’ comments came Thursday at a news conference at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, where he introduced a program that will send free books home to elementary school children. 

The governor says some schools used face masks during the previous school year while others didn’t with similar results, which is why most districts in the state won’t require them this August.

He says he plans on fighting any kind of federal mask mandate in schools from the Biden administration. 

“But there is going to be - it looks like - a campaign from Washington to try to change that," DeSantis said. "I’ve talked to (House Speaker) Chris Sprowls, if we need to bring them (Legislature) back in to be able to do something from the legislative perspective, he’s all in to be able to do it.”

President Joe Biden says he expects the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend but not force unvaccinated students and teachers to wear facial coverings. 

DeSantis said there also won’t be any more lockdowns in Florida.

“You’re not getting that done in Florida," he said. "I’m going to protect people’s livelihoods, I’m going to protect kids’ right to go to school, I’m going to protect people’s right to run their small businesses.”

The governor said there are three coronavirus vaccines widely available in the state. He added that it’s up to residents to get vaccinated, but to make health decisions they believe are best for themselves.

The Biden administration said last week that one in five new coronavirus cases across the country was reported in Florida during a July surge.

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.