Sumter County

DeSantis pushes back on school districts ordering mask mandates against state law

THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Less than a day after Orange County became the latest school district to institute a mask mandate, Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Central Florida appearing at a monoclonal antibody site in The Villages.

DeSantis remains committed to preventing schools from mandating masks, however, with cases especially among school age children on the rise half the state is now willing to defy his order in the name of keeping kids and school staff safe.

See: 9 things to know about COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments

When DeSantis was asked if he will alter his executive order and return power back to the local school district he said, “How about keeping the power with the parents those school districts are violating state law and they are taking their overriding what the parents judgment is on this.”

Pointing to the recently passed Parents’ Bill of Rights, the governor said schools are breaking the law.

“If these entities are going to violate state law and violate parents’ rights, obviously they are, That’s the way it works and there are consequences and they will continue to be more,” DeSantis said.

READ: New monoclonal antibody treatment site for COVID-19 opens in Central Florida

When asked what those extra consequences would be, the governor declined to answer.

As for the effectiveness of masks, the governor continues to maintain they do not have an impact when used in a school setting, dismissing recent outbreaks including one school shut down in Titusville.

“To attribute that to the mask, you don’t even know that they’re getting infected in school and in fact the evidence is that they’re much more likely to get infected in the community and at home then they are in the classroom,” DeSantis said.

Apart from schools, the governor continues to tout antibody treatments for those dealing with COVID-19.

The new location in The Villages is one of the sites the state has set up for those treatments, which will be open seven days a week starting on Thursday.

Monoclonal antibody treatments can be prescribed by health care providers to people 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization.

READ: Coronavirus: What is monoclonal antibody treatment and who should get it?

The antibodies help the immune system recognize and respond effectively to the virus.

More information on monoclonal antibody treatments can be found by clicking here.

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