JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s largest teachers union is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to prioritize school employees for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Across the nation and in Northeast Florida, students and teachers have been forced to isolate and quarantine because of COVID-19.
“Our public schools are not the super spreaders we thought they were going to be, that is good news,” said Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar. “However, as community spread goes up, cases in our public schools go up.”
Spar said educators have been on the frontlines making sure public schools continue to operate and students get the education they deserve. He said it’s paramount for Florida to stay ahead of the spread of coronavirus in our schools and is urging DeSantis to prioritize teachers in the plan for vaccinations in Florida.
“So for any teachers or education staff professionals who want to protect themselves with the vaccine, they will be able to,” Spar said. “This is not calling for mandatory vaccinations, just trying to speed up the process in which our educators who want to receive that vaccination are able to receive those vaccinations.”
Duval’s COVID-19 dashboard shows there have been nearly 700 cases of coronavirus districtwide — 218 staff members and 473 students.
“In just the last week and half, we know of at least five educators who have died of covid in the state of Florida. From principals to teachers, to support staff and bus drivers, that is a great concern and we have to protect our educators,” Spar said.