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Florida Governor: States Closing Schools During Omicron Are Being ‘Absurd’

Gov. Ron DeSantis (Getty Images)

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Gov. Ron DeSantis last week pushed back against any potential mandates, school closures or stay- at-home procedures, saying that schools are safe as long as they follow safety guidelines.

The governor told reporters that he doesn’t foresee any new mandates being in place anytime soon, despite COVID surges and the highly transmissible omicron variant spreading across Florida and elsewhere.

 “To impose  any type of mandate on people is crazy,” DeSantis said. “Schools in Georgia and North Carolina are closed, which is absurd. Have we not learned anything people?” he said.

DeSantis made the remarks at a Jan. 5 press conference, announcing funding to support infrastructure and job growth.

But the focus became COVID.

DeSantis encouraged Floridians to continue to test and ensured that home tests from the Biden administration will be sent out soon.

The first people to receive the home tests will be the senior citizens of Florida, so they won’t have to worry about waiting in long lines for COVID testing, the governor said. 

Meanwhile, DeSantis claimed that the omicron variant is “more like the flu” and if teachers and students aren’t feeling well, to simply stay home.

According to the Miami Herald,  thousands of teachers are calling out sick in Miami Dade public schools, raising concerns for educators, families and Florida residents. 

Based on  Jan. 4 data reported over a seven-day period (Dec. 28-Jan. 3), COVID cases rose to 380,759 infections  in Florida, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s the second highest of all states and the District of Columbia. Coming in first is New York, which includes cases from New York City and New York State combined.

Overall, Florida’s COVID-cases added up to 4.36 million — lower only than Texas and California.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: info@floridaphoenix.com. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

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