As the coronavirus savaged other parts of the country, Florida, buoyed by low infection rates, seemed an ideal location for a nation looking to emerge from isolation. The Republican National Convention moved from Charlotte to Jacksonville, the NBA eyed a season finale at a Disney sports complex near Orlando and millions packed onto once-empty beaches.
Weeks later, the Sunshine State has emerged as a coronavirus epicenter. Nearly 1 out of every 100 residents is infected with the virus, hospital intensive care units are full or filling up, and big-name visitors who chose Florida for their first post-isolation events are now mired in questions and controversies about safety.
Amid escalating infections, Florida, once held up by President Trump as a model for how to manage the novel coronavirus, is faring poorly. Residents worry the situation will get much worse. Florida is now one of a handful of states whose spiking numbers are driving a major resurgence of the virus in the United States, which is approaching 3 million cases.
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran on Monday ordered public schools to reopen in August and offer “the full panoply of services” to students and families.
As COVID-19 outbreaks spike in Florida, Corcoran’s mandate said that extending school closures can impede students’ educational success and prevent parents and guardians from returning to work.
“There is a need to open schools fully to ensure the quality and continuity of the educational process, the comprehensive well-being of students and families and a return to Florida hitting its full economic stride,” the order states.
^^^^This didn’t age well.