The mask mandate for students in some South Florida schools could be eased by the end of October as local rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to fall, officials said.
The number of students needing to quarantine in Miami-Dade County public schools has dropped significantly since school started in August, school Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Wednesday.
He said the decision would be based on the latest COVID-19 data and the advice of a task force of local doctors advising the district.
The easing of the mask policy would give parents an opt-out provision for their children, he said.
A parental opt out was the original back-to-school plan in Miami. But the delta variant spread rapidly across Florida during the summer, causing a spike in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
The district, which is the state’s largest, joined a handful of other districts — representing about half of Florida’s public school students — in adopting mask requirements with an opt-out only for medical reasons.
That defied an order by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose administration directed schools to allow parents to decide whether children wore masks in school.
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