Summer Surge in COVID-19 Cases Comes Ahead of School Start


Maria Fernandez

COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Florida as MDCPS students return to campus for their in-person classes.

Daphne Renoux, Staff Writer

This summer was anxiously awaited by many as the state was opening back up after months of quarantining measures, with the increasing number of vaccinated people. Instead, COVID-19 cases spiked due to the Delta variant and anti-vaccine sentiments, causing Florida to experience an all-time high in cases.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed several executive orders on July 30 that prohibited districts and small in-state governments from installing mask mandates and other protective measures. He also announced that masks would not be required in schools starting in the fall. If superintendents and other similar authorities were to install such measures, they would be penalized. DeSantis also left businesses to make their own decisions regarding mandating vaccines in workplaces such as hospitals and doctor’s offices.

COVID-19 has had a big impact on the world, but also on individual states. Here are some statistics about the current situation. (Daphne Renoux)

Vaccination has seen resistance in Florida as anti-vaccine sentiments has continued to spread throughout the state. Only 51.56% of the overall population has been fully vaccinated but a lot of others are hesitating. As of today, about 94%, of COVID-19 patients in ICU are unvaccinated.

With the start of school and classes starting back up, case numbers are expected to rise again. To prevent this, schools are taking measures such as maintaining mask mandates, social distancing and following seating charts to keep the amount of contaminated and quarantined students to a minimum. Teachers are giving fewer paper-based assignments and prioritizing the use of computers. Despite all this, there is no saying how the COVID-19 will impact the education of students this year.

“I think the main thing that could be done to slow down the pandemic is to vaccinate as many people as possible and to promote mask-wearing,” sophomore Emily Kardjian said.

Furthermore, the Delta variant started spreading across Florida in July. This strand originated in India and is more contagious than the original COVID-19 strand. Scientists are still unsure about the Delta variant and how it will impact the vaccine’s efficacy. The Delta variant already accounts for more than 50% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and has globally surpassed 200 million cases.

“Now with this new strand and in a similar position as last year, it is really concerning the infectious nature of this strand especially with kids,” sophomore Amalia Garrido said.

With Governor DeSantis’s continued policy of reopening Florida, the Delta variant continues to spread. As students across the state return to classes, whether or not case numbers can be managed is yet to be determined.