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Florida Doctors Hold Protest as Students Return to Classes Amid Massive COVID-19 Surge

HeadlineAug 24, 2021

In Florida, thousands of students returned to classrooms Monday even as the state recorded one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the world. Miami-Dade County schools opened the fall semester with a mask mandate in place, defying Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’s threat to pull funding from the district and to cut off the salaries of school officials who require masks. At least seven Florida districts that serve more than a million students are defying DeSantis’s ban on mask mandates. This comes after more than 10,000 students in Hillsborough County alone have had to quarantine over possible exposure to the coronavirus at school.

Meanwhile, Florida’s hospitals are overrun with COVID-19 patients — the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. On Monday, 75 South Florida doctors staged a symbolic walkout from Palm Beach Gardens hospital, pleading with members of their community to wear masks and get vaccinated. This is Dr. Rupesh Dharia.

Dr. Rupesh Dharia: “We are not only your doctors, but we are your neighbors and your friends. Many of our children go to school here with your children. We are exhausted. Our patience and resources are running low. And we need your help.”

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