Florida pediatricians call for masks in schools as COVID-19 cases surge


  • Adobe

A statewide group of pediatricians Thursday called for “universal” use of masks in schools as the academic year gets ready to start and as Florida deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics supports the continued, universal use of masks and physical distancing in schools by all individuals including students, faculty members and staff through the end of the 2021-2022 school year,” the organization said in a prepared statement. “Masking should be in addition to the continuation of testing protocols in schools to mitigate the spread of infection. Finally, and most importantly, FCAAP recommends that all vaccine eligible children, faculty and staff in schools should be vaccinated.”

The statement came as school districts grapple with mask issues and as Gov. Ron DeSantis has repeatedly criticized the idea of requiring students to wear face coverings. The pediatricians’ statement said children under age 12 remain ineligible for vaccinations and that most children are at risk of infection and transmitting the virus to other people.

The number of cases in Florida has surged in recent weeks as the delta variant of the coronavirus has spread through the state.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.