COVID Cases Overwhelm Hospitals; Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Plan For Public Schools

Jul 30, 2021

COVID-19 infections are rising in Florida and hospitals are filling up with patients sick with the Delta variant. Public hospitals serve a large portion of the 9,000 people currently hospitalized, with numbers rising daily.

Justin Senior, CEO of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, joined us on the program to discuss why so many people are ill and how public hospitals are coping.

The rise in COVID infections is affecting more than just hospitals. Many schools face tough decisions as Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday an exective order would make masks optional in public schools. DeSantis has also threatened to call a special legislative session to try to ensure districts cannot mandate masks if the federal government were to do so. 

Before DeSantis announced his executive order, the Broward County School District planned to require masks for students when they return in August. Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Broward County Public School Board Chair, told us more about why her district is prioritizing masks.

Miami Herald reporter Ana Ceballos joined us with more information about the potential for a special legislative session, as well as what happened at DeSantis’ closed-door meeting earlier this week. 

Dr. Michael Muszynski is a pediatric infectious disease expert and professor emeritus at FSU College of Medicine and a member of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which was part of the team that submitted recommendations to DeSantis last year for the state to safely reopen school during the pandemic. He told us more about what the delta variant looks like in children and what schools might expect if students arrive without masks.

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