Community Responds To School Mask Mandates; Marketing Vaccines; NPS Turns 105

Aug 25, 2021

The St. Johns County School District has announced school staff and visitors must wear facial coverings on campus.

Superintendent Tim Forson attributes his decision to the increasing number of positive cases in staff and student populations.

Despite the rising number, the county still is not mandating masks for students, unlike some other districts across the state. St. Johns County cites Gov. Ron DeSantis executive order banning mask mandates in schools as its reason for hesitating.

Dr. Jeffery Goldhagen, Professor and Chief, Division of Community and Societal Pediatrics, University of Florida College of Medicine—Jacksonville and President, International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health, joined us with more.

Heather Prediletto, the co-founder of Doctors & Community Members for Masks in St. Johns County Schools, gave us more information on the group’s hopes and Kendra Lane, a retired teacher from Duval County Public Schools, who left the classroom because of concerns for her safety, told us more about her experience.

Marketing Vaccines

The Pfizer vaccine received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration this week, yet 80 million Americans still resist the vaccine. Some claim vaccine hesitancy for all vaccines, while others have specific concerns about the COVID-19 jab. 

North Carolina State University marketing professor Stacy Wood Ph.D. says advertising and marketing might be the key to more Americans consenting to the vaccine. Wood joined us to discuss a new paper she co-authored for the New England Journal of Medicine and gave us tips for talking to people with vaccine hesitancy.

NPS Turns 105

National Parks across the nation have hosted in-park programs and virtual experiences to celebrate the National Park Service’s 105th birthday. To encourage all to participate, the NPS waived entrance fees. 

The Florida Times-Union’s Mark Woods authored Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks in celebration of the NPS’ centennial. He joined us with more information.

What’s Good Wednesday

First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Associate Producer Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.