DeSantis Won’t Move On Masks As Florida COVID Wards Swell

A group waits to get a COVID-19 test, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in North Miami, Fla. Federal health officials say Florida has reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state's highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic. The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a fifth of all new cases in the U.S. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted mandatory mask mandates and vaccine. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

(AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is refusing to back down from his position on mask mandates even as the state again broke its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Republican governor insisted Tuesday that the spike will be short-lived. He expects hospitalizations to drop in the next couple weeks, after the summer heat and humidity ease and Floridians spend more time outdoors.

With the much more contagious delta variant now spreading exponentially, Florida hit 11,515 hospitalized patients Tuesday, breaking last year’s record for the third straight day. That’s 11 times more than the number hospitalized in mid-June. About 2,400 patients are now in intensive care.


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