Four Florida teachers die in 24-hour window from COVID, but they got it on summer break

The untimely passing of the educators has poured fuel on the fiery debate surrounding mask mandates in schools

Updated: August 13, 2021 - 12:50pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Four teachers in Florida died in the span 24-hours after contracting the coronavirus, according to a statement from the Broward Teachers Union. 

The untimely passing of three teachers and one teacher's assistant has reignited the contentious debate surrounding masking policies and mandates in Florida schools.

"It really hits because we've been in this conversation about masking up in schools; our own elected governor acting like masks are not necessary," said Union president Anna Fusco. Fusco pivoted the conversation toward in-school mask mandates ahead of the coming school year, despite all four teachers contracting Covid-19 on summer break.

"It's right here in our face ... You can’t say anything else than say this is real and we still all have to do our part to curb the spread," said Fusco.

Additionally, at least three of the four had not received a vaccination against the sometimes deadly illness. No information was shared about the age of the teachers, or whether any of them had preexisting conditions. 

The Broward School Board voted earlier  this week to require masks in schools. That mandate would run counter to the ban on mask mandates issues by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). Initially, DeSantis threatened to withhold the salaries of superintendents and school board members who moved to install mask mandates in defiance of the ban, though he seemed to reverse course on that statement later in the week.