Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order that directs the state's health and education departments to issue emergency rules that prevent the implementation of a mask mandate in schools.
A news release from the governor's office said that executive order 21-175 was issued "in response to several Florida school boards considering or implementing mask mandates in their schools after the Biden administration issued unscientific and inconsistent recommendations that school-aged children wear masks."
It added that this was done "to protect parents’ freedom to choose whether their children wear masks."
The executive order states that if the State Board of Education finds a school district board unwilling or unable to comply, they are able to withhold the transfer of state funds, discretionary grant funds, or discretionary lottery funds until they do. They may also declare the school ineligible for competitive grants.
The latest data: DeSantis' order comes after the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled guidance earlier this week that people in areas with "high" or "substantial" Covid-19 transmission should resume wearing masks indoors. Over 75% of the US population live in these areas.
The CDC released a new study Friday that shows the Delta Covid-19 variant produced similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they get infected.
The finding that the Delta variant resulted in similar viral loads "was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC's updated mask recommendation," Walensky said Friday.
"The masking recommendation was updated to ensure the vaccinated public would not unknowingly transmit virus to others, including their unvaccinated or immunocompromised loved ones," the CDC director said.