TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried will address the increase in coronavirus cases in the state at a press conference on Wednesday.

Fried is scheduled to speak from the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee at 12:15 p.m. His remarks will be broadcast at the top of this story. According to her office, this will be the first of the Commissioner’s regular COVID-19 briefings.

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A press release reveals that Fried will discuss the Florida Department of Health and its decision to no longer provide daily COVID-19 data despite the country’s leading state in new viral infections. The FDOH has instead decided to publish weekly reports, despite calls to revert to publishing daily figures.

Fried will also discuss the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s decision to reverse its mask guidelines and recommend that vaccinated people wear face covers indoors again. The CDC has also advised all students, staff, teachers and visitors to wear masks in Florida schools. The health agency said its new recommendations come as the delta variant turns out to be a more infectious version of the coronavirus and the nation sees a larger presence.

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The commissioner’s speech comes a day after the CDC announced its updated guidance, becoming one of Florida’s top officials to publicly address change.

However, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office released a statement saying parents should have the right to choose whether their child should be subjected to a face covering. DeSantis had previously opposed children wearing masks in classrooms.

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Florida’s top Democrat, Fried, will challenge DeSantis for the governor’s seat. She announced her candidacy for Florida’s top office last month. Fried will compete for the Democratic nomination for governor against Rep. Charlie Crist.

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