Florida Schools Ordered to Reopen Next Month Amid Rise in COVID-19

July 8, 2020
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    Despite a spike in coronavirus cases, Florida schools will reopen for in-person teaching next month.

    Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has issued an order which mandates all public schools must reopen for students in August for the upcoming academic year, according to NPR.

    "All school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students,” read the order.

    The openings are still "subject to advice and orders" of state and local health departments, who could determine certain districts are not safe to reopen.

    “There is a need to open schools fully to ensure the quality and continuity of the educational process, the comprehensive well-being of students and families and a return to Florida hitting its full economic stride,” the order stated.

    The order was met with some resistance from the Florida Education Association, the state's largest teachers union.

    "It does not give a detailed account of what schools are expected to have," Union President Fedrick Ingram told the outlet. "How much we're going to be able to clean schools, cleaning stations, how do we adhere to the social distancing, mask-wearing from students and our teachers? There's a lot to be desired as it relates to a particular plan, but we have not seen that yet. So there's a lot of angst from teachers across the state."

    On Tuesday, President Trump pressed for all schools to reopen in the fall.

    “We want to reopen the schools. Everybody wants it. The moms want it, the dads want it, the kids want it. It's time to do it,” Trump said at a White House event. "We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.”

    In recent weeks, Florida has seen an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases and experts believe it has the makings to become the next epicenter of the virus.

    On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health confirmed another 7,347 new cases of coronavirus, reported WTSP. The state has seen over 213,000 cases since the start of the pandemic in March.

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