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Doctors Ask DeSantis to Change Course Amid COVID-19 Case Spike

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis puts on his mask as he leaves a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami. DeSantis acknowledged Monday that the new coronavirus is spreading and urged people to take precautions such as wearing masks in public places, social distancing and avoiding crowds. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Florida had more than 21,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported in one day over the weekend, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Federal numbers also show the state has more than 10,000 people currently hospitalized with the disease, more than at any time during the ongoing pandemic.

According to CDC statistics, the number of people whose COVID-19 test results came back positive for the virus has also jumped in recent weeks, reaching 19 percent late last week.

Given all these reasons, a group calling itself Physicians for Social Responsibility is asking Governor Ron DeSantis to change his stance on not requiring masks in schools, not mandating vaccines and limiting local governments’ ability to make their own COVID-19 rules.

Dr. Howard Kessler says DeSantis’ current approach is not working.

“We have over 20 percent of the number of cases that have been reported over the last week. These are staggering numbers. If any state should be taking action, and taking strong action, it is Florida.”

So far, the daily number of deaths has not spiked as they did both last summer and winter.

Last week, DeSantis issued an executive order aimed at blocking school boards from requiring students to wear masks when the academic year begins this month.

In part, the order directs state education funds to be withheld from “noncompliant” school boards that impose mask requirements.

Earlier last week, the CDC recommended that teachers, students and school staff members wear masks in schools.

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