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Fights about wearing masks in schools intensified Friday, as the United States reported a record number of infections among children in recent weeks after schools reopened.

In Florida, an appeals court sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis to reinstate a school mask ban, while the Education Department said it is investigating whether the state was violating the rights of students with disabilities by preventing school districts from requiring masks. In Texas, attorney general Ken Paxton filed lawsuits against six school districts for defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s order regarding mask mandates, adding that he expects to file more suits against noncompliant districts.

Nationally, Republican leaders blasted President Biden’s sweeping new coronavirus vaccine mandates for businesses and federal workers, decrying them as unconstitutional infringements on personal liberties and promising to sue.

Here’s what to know

  • Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of covid-19 than those who were fully vaccinated this spring and summer, according to one of three major studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Companies that ignore the White House mandate that businesses with more than 100 employees require their workers be vaccinated against the coronavirus or subjected to weekly testing could face penalties of up to $14,000 for each violation, according to a senior administration official.
  • France’s former health minister was placed under formal investigation for “endangering the lives of others” in the pandemic, marking one of the first such judicial cases worldwide.