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More School Districts Across Florida Join Orange County Public Schools in Passing Opt-Out Face Mask Mandates

Photo: Lucia Macedo
Photo: Lucia Macedo

More school districts in Florida are passing opt-out face mask mandates ahead of the first day of school on August 10th. The policies come as some 20 percent of new coronavirus cases in the US are recorded in the state.

Orange County Public Schools near Orlando passed an opt-out face mask mandate on Friday out of, “an abundance of caution for the safety of our students and employees.” 

Parents who want to opt out of the policy can simply send their child with a note on the first day of school.

Nearby Seminole County Public Schools followed suit over the weekend, along with districts throughout the state including Hillsborough, Duval and Palm Beach counties.

These changes come as students prepare to return to classrooms at the same time as Florida leads the country in the highest rate of pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Gov. Ron DeSantis passed an executive order last month banning face mask mandates in K-12 schools while threatening to cut funding for districts that require facial coverings.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.