School Districts In Texas And Florida Are Defying Their Governors’ Anti-Mask Orders

by Jeremy

Republican governors in Texas and Florida have imposed bans on mask mandates despite a spike in COVID-19 infections among children, but that’s not stopping an increasing number of school districts from defying them.

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In May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any sort of mask mandate, including in schools. In July, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did the same and threatened to withhold funds for schools that require masks for students.

The orders come while the states are epicenters of the new, highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus, which has led to cases and hospitalizations rising to record-breaking levels. 

Florida, for the 11th consecutive day Wednesday, broke its record for current COVID-19 hospitalizations at 15,449 ― accounting for 28% of all hospitalizations among the 232 hospitals reporting their data to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The state also saw 24,753 new cases on Wednesday, breaking a record for the third time this week.

Texas recorded an increase in new cases as well, with 14,214 newly confirmed cases and 3,684 new probable cases on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, there were at least 10,463 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas, taking up about 16% of total hospital beds.

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