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August 27, 2021

Florida school boards and districts scored a big win today (Friday) in the fight over Governor Ron DeSantis’ effort to ban mandatory mask policies in public schools. A Leon County judge said the state cannot selectively enforce PART of a law. And the Parents’ Bill of Rights – which the administration had used to justify the mask ban – does NOT allow the state the right to blanketly ban districts from moving forward with their own mask policies. Lynn Hatter reports the issue is likely to be appealed. But for now, school districts can keep the masks – and mask policies – in place.

Steve Bousquet, the opinion editor for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, penned an editorial this week on the similarities between Governor DeSantis’ approach to local school district authority when it comes to masks is similar to that exercised by one of his predecessors. Bousquet talks it over with Tom Flanigan.

Floridians remain politically divided on universal mask wearing in schools, as well as vaccination requirements. Democratic politicians support such measures, while Republican leaders largely do not. As Valerie Crowder reports, recent polling also shows a sharp political divide among the state’s voters on these issues.

More Floridians are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 after lagging rates earlier this summer contributed to the record surge in cases the state is experiencing now. But, as Health News Florida’s Stephanie Columbini reports, health experts say there’s still a long way to go.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is traveling the state to raise awareness about monoclonal antibodies. He says more people need to know about the treatment that could save lives. But what are monoclonal antibodies and who should get them? Regan McCarthy has more on the story.

Heading into the weekend, a nice, cold brew and a plate of magnificent Apalachicola oysters would sure hit the spot. Sadly, the wild oyster beds that produce that succulent marine delicacy remain closed to allow for natural recovery after many years of stress. But it seems the Apalachicola Bay’s wild oysters have begun showing signs they could rebound after years of decline. Still, as Robbie Gaffney reports, the oysters’ recovery is still fragile.