ORLANDO, Fla.  — With concerns about the Delta variant growing with just about two weeks until a new school year starts in Central Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is underscoring that masks will be optional in classrooms in the fall.

What You Need To Know

  • Every Central Florida Public School District has masks optional for the upcoming school year

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended that everyone 2 and up wear a mask in schools

  • MORE Coronavirus headlines

DeSantis said at an event last week at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce that Florida families should be looking forward to a normal school year, and it's up to parents to decide if their kids will mask up in school.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidance recommending everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask at school, regardless of vaccination status.

Central Florida doctors have shared that case numbers were low in schools last year, but that was with all safety measures in place.

DeSantis said kids need to be kids.

"At the end of the day, we've got to start putting our kids first, we've got to look out for their education, is it really comfortable, is it really healthy for them to be muzzled and have their breathing obstructed all day long in school, I don't think it is," the governor said.

He added that there's been talk at the federal level about potentially imposing compulsory masks for kids, but he said Florida will not do that.

"There's not very much science behind it, but there's some schools we had that didn't do masks, others did, the outcomes were not meaningfully different," the governor said.

Orange County's positivity rate is at about 15% right now, with the state positivity rate at around the same number, up about 4% from the previous week.

Anything above 10% means widespread activity.