Covid-19Florida

Miami-Dade school mask mandate will remain during court battle

Miami Gardens, Florida – According to Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the county’s classroom mask mandate will remain in effect as the courts sort out the issue.
That despite an appeals court on Friday saying that the state can continue to punish districts that have mask requirements that go against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ orders for the time being.
It is an ongoing appeal – and Carvalho says Miami-Dade has no intentions of changing the stance on masks locally.
“It’s not a political ploy it’s a necessity considering the environmental and the health conditions in our community currently,” Carvalho said Monday morning, noting that he wasn’t surprised by an appeals court reinstated a stay on Friday.
The state’s department of education can continue punishing school districts for mask mandates, at least until the appeals court comes to a final decision as the case moves forward.
According to Carvalho, 13 school districts across the state, representing more than one million students, are not wrong by requiring the wearing of masks.
According to Dr. Marc Mestre, chief medical officer at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, admissions are down.
On Monday they had eight pediatric COVID-19 patients at the hospital. Two of them are on ventilators. It’s significantly less than what they saw in early-to-mid August.
“In terms of school districts that tend to have mask mandates or mask-wearing, [they] tend to have lower rates of infections within the schools,” Mestre said.
By the end of October, a vaccine for children ages 5-11 could be authorized, which could help further.
In Broward County, school leaders say they’re doing their best to keep students and staff safe and healthy. And they claim the state isn’t helping.
The school district is calling for the state to release federal funding for school districts across Florida that they say the state refuses to deliver, including hundreds of millions of dollars meant for Broward.
“We don’t have a process to ask for these funds,” said Vickie Cartwight, Broward’s interim superintendent. “We’re talking about well over half a billion dollars.”
The U.S. Department of Education has launched a civil rights investigation into Florida’s school masking policies.

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