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Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees Tell Sick Teachers and Students to Stay Home

Photo: Austin Pacheco
Photo: Austin Pacheco

Health experts warned families on Monday to follow health precautions with all of Florida’s 75 school districts now offering some form of in-person instruction.

More than one million students in public, private and charter schools in Florida are back at school for the first time since the pandemic started in March.

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said to reduce the risk of new coronavirus cases, teachers and students should stay home if they’re sick. 

"Fever, cough, shortness of breath, change in smell, change in taste, sore throat, if you feel sick at all. Please don’t go to school. Contact your healthcare provider and get tested."

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Rivkees says asymptomatic people who may have a pending COVID-19 test result or a sick family member that they live with should also stay home.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said with virtual education going on simultaneously at most schools students won't get behind academically if they have to miss a few days on campus.

“Look, normal situation I get it. When you’re not feeling well, you don’t want to not go to school if you’re going to fall behind. And so that's a natural impulse to want to do it. Well, we used to not really have that option, now a lot of these schools you're going to be able to just dial it up and have it there for you and you're not going to necessarily have this huge gap.”

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DeSantis said he hopes the Florida Department of Health will indicate whether students are asymptomatic or symptomatic when they release information about coronavirus case numbers at schools. 

The department says it will release this data after claiming last week it was confidential and protected by the state. 

If you'd like to listen to the full story, click on the clip at the top of the page. 

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.