ORLANDO, Fla. – As many places continue to reevaluate mask policies, local school districts are also making decisions on what classrooms will look like in the upcoming school year.
Schools have already faced pressure regarding mask requirements, but it’s been increased in the last week after children as young as 12 became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Brevard County’s school board held a special meeting Friday morning to discuss masks, a topic that has been heated among parents who have already called on the district to get rid of the requirement for this school year.
Prior to this meeting, Marion County’s school board unanimously voted to make masks optional for summer classes as the district considered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. While this decision stands for summer, the school board will have to make a decision on the upcoming school year, which the school district says will be discussed in the coming weeks.
As more children and adults are vaccinated, it is still being determined how long the protection will last. A Florida lab is offering an antibody test to help determine how protected people are from COVID-19.
Florida reported Thursday that 9,813,737 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. New data is showing that there is a distinct difference in vaccination rates in the Northeast compared to the South. According to the Associated Press, higher vaccination rates are being seen in the Northeast while lowest ones are in the South.
If you still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, News 6 is offering another chance for you to have your questions answered by doctors and medical professionals during a phone bank Friday afternoon. The phone lines will open at 4 p.m. and calls will be answered through 7:30 p.m. by AdventHealth staff. To learn more, click here.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: As positivity rate falls under 4%, Florida reports 2,881 new COVID-19 cases]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 21.
The Florida Department of Health reported 2,336 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,304,860 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 96 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 37,172 This number included the 731 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 2,198 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March 2020, 93,965 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 150 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.
The percent of positive results was 4.55% Thursday out of 51,372 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
The positivity rate has remained below 5% for over 10 days in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
FDOH reports 7,874,202 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.
As of Friday, 2,041,959 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Friday.
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