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School Mask Debate; COVID-19 Data Change; Ghost Candidates

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Thirteen Florida school districts now require students to mask up for school. This comes as Leon County Judge John Cooperhas ruled Gov. Ron DeSantis cannot ban mask mandates in public schools.

DeSantis is appealing the ruling while Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is withholding funds equal to the salaries of school board members in districts that require masks.


COVID-19 Data

The Florida Department of Health changed its method for reporting COVID-19 infection data last month. State health officials used to report coronavirus deaths as they were notified someone died from the virus. Now they report deaths by the date someone died.

This change elongates the time it takes for deaths to show up in the data. The delay can create what may look like a decrease in statewide COVID deaths, but it's a false decrease based on an apples-to-oranges comparison.


Ghost Candidates


Florida is one of several states with new voting laws after the 2020 election. Opponents worry the new rules will make voting more difficult. Supporters say they's necessary to ensure the security of elections in Florida.


Meanwhile, prosecutors are investigating alleged ghost candidates who manipulated the 2020 election. Ghost candidates appear on a voter’s ballot but have no interest in actually running for office, do not campaign and are only added to the ballot to confuse voters.


One ghost candidate in a Miami-Dade state Senate race has pleaded guilty after receiving funding from a Republican state senator.



Florida Roundup Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at khobbs@wjct.orgor on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.

Katherine Hobbs was Associate Producer of talk shows at WJCT until 2022.