Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran’s gambit that they could intimidate and bully local officials across the state into backing off masks in school has failed miserably.
Leon County Superintendent of Schools Rocky Hanna had been the first official in the state to back down under pressure in the form of intimidating legal letters from Commissioner Corcoran. However, after Hanna backed down and Leon County allowed parents to opt-out of masking their children without a doctors note, six other counties, including the four most populated ones in the state choose to move forward with a mask mandate.
My understanding is not only have COVID cases effectively multiplied by 25 times over the same period a year ago in Leon Schools, but many teachers and parents were reaching a boiling point as last week wore on. To Hanna’s credit, he pivoted and now each district that has defied the Governor has protection in numbers.
Meanwhile, today Duval County which has been more or less the global epicenter of this most recent wave of COVID will consider imposing a school mask mandate at a special board meeting.
Parents lawsuit hearing
The 2nd Judicial Circuit in Leon County will begin a three-day hearing today on a parents lawsuit against Governor DeSantis mask mandate ban. Judge John C. Cooper allowed the case to go ahead last week after rejecting Governor DeSantis motion to dismiss in a preliminary hearing.
Updated COVID numbers
Per a DOH memo:
Florida recorded 15,588 new cases on Thursday and 33,288 new cases on Friday, which despite the gaudy Friday number tracks on average with the rest of the week, which was around 24,000 cases daily. Recorded deaths continue to average somewhere in neighborhood of 200 a day statewide.