51ºF

Govenor to parents: ’Schools are safe’

Gov. Ron DeSantis made three stops in Florida Monday, assuring parents and educators that opening classrooms poses far fewer risks than keeping them closed.

The governor said he is also committed to making sure parents know which schools have outbreaks.

Last week the state briefly published a report showing 900 K-12 teachers and students had tested positive for COVID-19.

At a roundtable designed to assure parents that sending kids back to the class was safe, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran called the numbers: “It’s a diminimus amount. Less than one percent of one percent.”

The report was up just a day. Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees called its release a mistake.

“It was a draft report that we are working on. It still needs some modification,” said the state’s top doctor.

And when News4Jax asked the governor, he said raw numbers aren’t important -- it’s who is sick.

“How many of those positive tests were actually…how many of those people are ill? Were any of them ill? How many of them? How many of them are symptomatic? I think that needs to be in there,” DeSantis said.

As the final 10 districts opened, just under 60% of kids are in classroom learning. The other four in 10 are learning virtually.

Michele Gregory has a 6- and 10-year-old who are back in the classroom on the first day of school.

“I’ve never seen children get dressed faster in my life. Or move quicker than they were to get back to brick and mortar schools” said the working mother.

“There is no need for fear at this point,” said Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He said kids faced more harm at home than in school.

“I mean there were over 200,000 cases that were estimated child abuse that were not picked up because the schools were closed,” Atlas said.

The final message from the meeting showed that if teachers or students don’t feel well, or have symptoms: “Please don’t go to school,” cautioned the surgeon general.

The state’s most recent pediatric case report was published Aug. 26.

It showed 6,167 kids 17 and under had tested positive for the coronavirus since schools began opening Aug. 10.