The head of Miami-Dade County Public Schools is asking Florida's governor to make teachers and other employees with direct contact with students to be among the highest priority coronavirus vaccine recipients.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is also asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to have the state provide for increased access to PCR COVID-19 tests specifically for school-aged children to minimize false negative results.
Carvalho outlined his requests in a letter to DeSantis and State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees on Tuesday.
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"Key to high quality educational programs is the ability to maintain instructional continuity without regular disruptions necessitated by the frequent quarantining of teachers and school staff," Carvalho wrote. "Ensuring the adults who provide student instruction, as well as those who are critical to the function of schoolhouse services, are provided priority access to the coronavirus vaccine after healthcare workers and first responders, will expedite the stabilization of our community, our economy, and most importantly student learning."
DeSantis said last week that schools will be required to remain open for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year, but said schools will continue to offer online classes for families who have chosen not to physically return.
Despite a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state, DeSantis said there was nothing to show that closing schools could help mitigate the spread of the virus.
"Closing schools due to coronavirus is probably the biggest public health blunder in modern American history,” DeSantis said at a news conference. “People who advocate closing schools for virus mitigation are effectively today’s flat-Earthers."