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Governor Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Dr. Joe Ladapo Buck CDC with New Official State Guidance

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Click above to watch the announcement video, courtesy Governor’s Press Office. 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced significant changes to Florida’s COVID-19 guidance including pushing back on unscientific corporate masking, reducing isolation for all Floridians including those in schools and daycares, and recommending that physicians should exercise their individual clinical judgement and expertise based on their patients’ needs and preferences. For more information about Florida’s new guidance, click here.

“People want to live freely in Florida, without corporate masking creating a two-tier society and without overbearing isolation for children,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We are empowering health care practitioners to follow science, not Fauci’s status quo.”

Public health updates in Florida now include:

  • Pushing Back Against Corporate Masking for Employees
  • Advising Health Care Practitioners and Facilities to Reevaluate Status Quo Protocols in Favor of Scientifically Based Treatment Options to Benefit Patients
  • Updating Daycare Guidance to Limit Child Isolation to 5 Days
  • Updating the School Rule to Limit Student Isolation to 5 Days
  • Reducing Isolation for Floridians with COVID to 5 Days

“The State of Florida has widespread natural and vaccine-induced immunity,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo. “Evidence suggests that most secondary transmission occurs early on. Our state will continue to make decisions for Floridians rooted in sound science, not fear, whether they are working or in school.”

Pushing Back Against Corporate Masking for Employees

Despite a lack of evidence that masks, and particularly cloth face coverings, prevent the transmission of COVID-19, many corporations have continued to require their employees to wear masks at work, regardless of the situation. Unlike CDC guidance, Florida’s new masking guidance advises against wearing facial coverings in a community setting. There is not strong evidence that masks reduce the transmission of respiratory illness.

This guidance makes clear that all employees at a corporation should not be forced to wear a mask while at work. The guidance recognizes that there are millions of employees in Florida working in industries from hospitality to manufacturing to banking who for no reason whatsoever have been forced to wear a mask at work.

The full guidance can be accessed here.

Advising Health Care Practitioners and Facilities to Reevaluate Status Quo Protocols in Favor of Scientifically Based Treatment Options to Benefit Patients

Florida recognizes that health care practitioners know best how to treat their patients. With today’s actions, state guidance is now clear that practitioners will have the flexibility to make the decision to treat patients with off-label prescriptions if they determine that it may help the patient and it is something the patient would like to try and provides informed consent to try. Florida has always believed in providing all possible treatment options to health care providers and led efforts to make monoclonal antibody treatments available statewide.

The full guidance can be accessed here.

Updating Daycare Guidance to Limit Child Isolation to 5 Days

Florida is supporting parents with children in daycare by updating outdated, unscientific guidelines that hurt working families and keep kids out of school.

Florida is making it clear that healthy children in daycare do not need to quarantine; children in daycare who test positive for COVID-19 can return after five days, with no test required. This guidance also reiterates that children attending daycare should never be forced to wear a mask — this choice should always be made by the parent.

The full guidance can be accessed here.

Updating the School Rule to Limit Student Isolation to 5 Days

The Florida Department of Health is also updating the school isolation rule to reduce isolation to 5 days. Parents still maintain the right to determine if their child should wear a mask and that remains strictly optional.

The updated rule language can be found here.

Reducing Isolation for Floridians with COVID to 5 Days

The new 5-day isolation guidance for COVID-19 issued by the Florida Department of Health is based on science and was informed by access to treatments, the benefits and harms of isolation, and widespread immunity. The 5-day guidance does not rely on the use of masks as a mitigation technique among the general public, as the use of masks has been shown to be ineffective in preventing transmission. This guidance recognizes that the CDC’s guidance is vastly out of date and has forced Floridians to miss work and school even when it is safe to return.

The updated guidance language can be found here.

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