COVID-19

Teacher in her classroom

DeSantis adviser takes (virtual) stand in lawsuit testing school masks policy

BY: - August 24, 2021

Lawyers for the DeSantis administration spent much of Tuesday afternoon trying to undermine the credibility of its key witness in the state court lawsuit challenging the governor’s policy against mask mandates for children in public schools. The witness is Jay Bhattacharya, a researcher specializing in the economics of medicine at Stanford University. He is not […]

Moms in ‘liberty’ group fight school mask mandates as COVID spikes in schools

BY: - August 24, 2021

In navy T-shirts emblazoned with “Moms for Liberty” in white lettering, a vocal group of mothers has dominated public comments at recent Florida school board meetings, condemning face masks as dangerous to children. As heated discussions continue over mask mandates at schools, the question is, who are these mothers? At the top, they are political […]

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, now known as ‘Comirnaty’

BY: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The United States has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one […]

Trial opens in parents’ legal challenge to DeSantis ban on mask mandates in schools

BY: - August 23, 2021

A trial judge suggested Monday that there may be limits to the state law that Gov. Ron DeSantis argues justifies his insistence that parents decide whether children inside public school buildings wear masks to prevent COVID-19 transmission. That law is the Parental Bill of Rights, which places health care and other decisions about their children […]

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Now it’s seven school districts defying Gov. DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates

BY: - August 22, 2021

The Leon County School District is the seventh in Florida to impose a mask mandate for schoolchildren, with exceptions only with documented medical evidence that it would harm students, in defiance of policy established by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Superintendent Rocky Hanna made the announcement Sunday in a live video posted on the district’s Facebook page. […]

Sarasota becomes 6th FL school district to defy DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates

BY: and - August 21, 2021

As three Florida schools and scores of classrooms around the state were shut down by COVID last week, a sixth school district imposed a mask mandate against vitriolic opposition from parents and the prospect of sanctions from the governor and state education officials. The Florida Education Association COVID tracker said that, as of Saturday, 21 […]

‘Simply unacceptable’: State cutting funds from school districts with mask mandates

BY: - August 20, 2021

The Florida Board of Education will withhold money equal to the salaries of local school board members from districts in Alachua and Broward counties over their tough mask mandates for students, which state officials say violate Florida law. “We cannot have government officials pick and choose what laws they want to follow,” Education Commissioner Richard […]

Doctors, hospitals warn young people about the Delta variant threat

BY: - August 20, 2021

Aiming to push for more people to get COVID-19 vaccines, an Orlando doctor is warning the younger population that they could face chronic health problems if infected with the coronavirus. Dr. Sanjay Pattani, an emergency physician with AdventHealth Orlando, says in a public service announcement released this week, titled “After Effects,” that the vaccines may […]

School closures reported in five FL counties; districts ‘drowning’ in COVID

BY: - August 20, 2021

Florida school districts caught off guard by a whole new COVID pandemic that erupted just as schools were reopening are scrambling to chase down infections and exposures on campus without the resources they need for testing and contact tracing. One Florida school superintendent described it this week as “drowning.” One school each in Charlotte and […]

Voting by proxy becomes business as usual in the U.S. House, despite GOP grumbles

BY: - August 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Data from roll call votes show that 171 U.S. House Democrats and 89 Republicans have voted by proxy at least once since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  authorized the pandemic-era practice beginning last year. Pelosi has now announced the extension of proxy voting until Oct. 1 as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues […]

Legal challenge to DeSantis masks-in-schools policy is headed to trial

BY: - August 19, 2021

The DeSantis administration’s efforts to have a lawsuit targeting his masks-in-schools policy thrown out of court failed Thursday, when a Leon County judge ruled that the case will go to trial. Circuit Judge John Cooper rejected administration arguments that the plaintiffs — parents whose children attend Florida public schools — lacked standing to bring the […]

DeSantis warns Biden’s vaccine push for nursing home staff could disrupt industry

BY: - August 19, 2021

President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for nursing home staff could drive workers out of the field and worsen the existing staffing shortage at these facilities, Gov. Ron DeSantis warned Thursday. “That is a major hammer to bring down and has not been legislated by Congress — I mean, that’s a pure use of executive power […]