By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Coronavirus cases are surging, local officials are discussing precautions about masks and vaccines and Gov. Ron DeSantis is scrambling to protect personal choice. All of this as Florida continues to account for about one in five COVID-19 infections in the U.S.

The surge in cases has come as the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus has spread across Florida and the country.

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With the release of its weekly numbers, the Florida Department of Health reports 110,477 new cases throughout the state, up more than 37-thousand cases from the previous week.

There were also another 108 reported deaths, and the state’s new case positivity rate stands at 18.1%, which is up from 15.1% from the previous week.

Despite Miami-Dade County’s 78% vaccination rate, there were 15,541 newly reported cases last week and the county has a 12.1% new case positivity rate, up from 10.1%.

In Broward, the vaccination rate is up to 70%, but added 9,094 new cases last week and has a new case positivity rate of 14%, up from 10.9%.

Monroe County, with its 70% vaccination rate, added 249 new cases last week and has increased its positivity rate from 11.6% to 16.2%.

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From the CDC this week, new guidelines that advise all people, including those who are fully vaccinated, wear masks in areas of “substantial or high” transmission.

In South Florida, Miami-Dade County is mandating masks be worn in indoor county facilities. Broward County also reinstated its indoor mask mandate for county-owned buildings.

While local leaders grapple with ways to boost vaccination rates and issue mask mandates to slow the spread of the disease, Florida school districts are running into a roadblock set by Gov. Ron DeSantis who issued an Executive Order on Friday which bans school systems from imposing mask mandates as students return to classes in August.  DeSantis said it should be a parental decision on whether or not a student should wear a mask in school.

The governor’s order goes a step further by allowing the State Board of Education to take away state funding from school districts that violate the order.

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