Florida governor lifts restrictions on youth summer activities

JACKSONVILLE – On Friday, May 22, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he was lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on youth activities including youth sports and summer camps, effective immediately.

“We believe this makes sense based on the data and observed experience,” he said.

“We are not going to be instituting a lot of rules or really any rules,” said the governor. He said the department of health will issue some questions and answers and recommendations for best practices.

“At the end of the day, we trust parents to be able to make decisions in conjunction with physicians, and community leaders and coaches to be able to do these activities in a way that are safe.

“Our kids have been out of organized activities for a couple months now, and I think we need a pathway to get it back,” he continued.

The governor said the state has not had any deaths of people under the age of 25 related to COVID-19. “We have also observed more total fatalities in people age 90 and above than in total fatalities for those under the age of 65 combined,” he said.

When the pandemic started, the schools went to distance learning in Florida, he said. “It was pretty clear kids were less likely to suffer serious outcomes from this than the elderly were,” said the governor. “We didn’t know the roles the kids would play as far as vectors of transmission.”

Kids are not immune from this. Some kids have been infected. Some kids have ended up critically ill. However, he added, the data is pretty clear that kids are at less risk for hospitalizations.

“We kept daycares open in the state of Florida,” he said, although the Centers for Disease Control recommended closing them. “We didn’t see any major problems with the daycares.”

He said this is a parent’s decision whether or not to put a child in summer activities. “If you don’t feel comfortable doing it, don’t do it,” he said.

“I really trust parents,” said the governor. “I trust the local leaders. I trust the coaches and the people who run these camps to do things that will help people stay safe.”

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