Florida Department of Health

A milestone for vaccinations: More than 12 million FL residents fully vaccinated

BY: - September 24, 2021

Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there’s some good news on the vaccination front: Florida is one of only four big states that have reached a milestone of at least 12 million fully-vaccinated residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported a figure of 12,154,279 for Florida residents who are fully vaccinated. (Florida’s […]

Crist denounces new COVID school policy; seeks ouster of new surgeon general

BY: - September 23, 2021

Democrat Charlie Crist denounced Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday as an “oppressive tyrant” willing to send coronavirus-infected children into the public schools and risk the health of other children to please his COVID-skeptical political base. During a Zoom press conference, the Democratic congressman from St. Petersburg — also a gubernatorial candidate for 2022 — argued […]

New Surgeon General shakes up school COVID protocols and leaves Constitutional questions unanswered

BY: - September 23, 2021

In a dramatic turnabout involving Florida’s new surgeon general, the state Department of Health has created a new COVID-19 related emergency rule that allows parents to keep kids in school even if they have been exposed to the virus. Previously, students would have to quarantine at home for a certain time period before going back […]

Biden, DeSantis butt heads but agree on this: Vaccines, antibody therapy save lives

BY: - September 13, 2021

While President Joe Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis clash regularly over management of the deadly resurgence of COVID-19, they agree on this: Approved vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapy are the best medical tools for fighting coronavirus and its Delta variant. The Democratic president and the Republican governor who might run against him in 2024 both […]

U.S. Department of Education opens investigation on FL’s mask policies and possible violations of federal law

BY: - September 10, 2021

On the heels of a court decision allowing Florida education officials to continue penalizing school districts with strict mask mandates, the U.S. Department of Education has opened an investigation to determine if the state’s current mask policies are discriminatory to students with disabilities. The USDE sent a letter Friday notifying Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran […]

Tampa mask mandate protest

Gov. DeSantis loses again in lawsuit over his schools mask-mandate policy

BY: - September 8, 2021

A state trial judge has cleared Florida school districts to enforce strict mask mandates for students until a state appeals court can decide whether the DeSantis administration holds authority to enforce a parental veto over masks. Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper had ruled last month that the governor abused his authority in ordering the […]

Several school boards buck DeSantis administration and defend their own strict mask policies

BY: - September 1, 2021

Meeting a 5 p.m. deadline by the state, at least four district school boards defended their strict mask policies to the Florida Department of Education, the State Board of Education and Commissioner Richard Corcoran – even if it means losing their salaries. The local boards wrote in a letter to the state that they are […]

Not all mask mandates are equal: 10 Florida school districts have varied approaches

BY: - August 26, 2021

In a statewide conflict over school mask policies, 10 school districts are defying state orders by mandating masks for students. But not every district has the same mandates. Not all students in a district need to mask. And some grades have different rules when it comes to masking. Overall, the mask environment in Florida’s public […]

Will FL families rush to vaccinate children below 12 against COVID? Or will they be hesitant?

BY: and - August 25, 2021

With federal health officials thinking about a new age span for vaccinations — shots to kids below age 12  — families are now confronting questions about whether vaccines would be safe and necessary for elementary-level students. Kids in PreK and elementary schools would have to rely on their parents for consent to get the shots […]

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 […]

State floats removal of school board members who require kids to wear masks

BY: - August 17, 2021

The State Board of Education floated the possibility Tuesday of removing local school district officers who vote to impose mask mandates on their students, on the ground that doing so breaks Florida law. The board invited Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to investigate the matter and take all legal steps to enforce these laws, including the […]

Florida hospitals face critical staffing shortages as COVID continues to expand

BY: - August 17, 2021

The number of adults and children hospitalized with COVID-19 rose to 16,521 overnight, pushing Florida’s hospitals into critical staffing shortages, the Florida Hospital Association (FHA) said Tuesday. The hospitalized patients include 199 children. “There can be no question that many Florida hospitals are stretched to their absolute limits,” said FHA president and CEO Mary Mayhew […]