SOURCE: “It’s Not Safe Enough … Yet.”
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Students in the Palm Beach County School District can count on wearing masks for several more weeks — most likely through the Thanksgiving holiday, and possibly until winter break.
Sources tell BocaNewsNow.com that while pressure is increasing to remove masks due to declining COVID-19 numbers in Palm Beach County, there is concern that a significant increase in cases could be just weeks away.
“There are two factors,” said an official not authorized to discuss internal conversations within the school district. “The first is vaccines. If most parents have their children vaccinated, and it looks like 5-11-year-olds are just a week or two away, we would be in great shape. Easing the mask requirement would be a month away. Even if most kids had the process started with just one shot, we’d be in very good shape.”
But there is concern that some parents will refuse to vaccinate their kids, causing problems for others in the school district.
“If people don’t vaccinate their kids and then start traveling, or taking part in large group dinners for Thanksgiving, we could see another surge by early December. It’s exactly what happened last year. We can’t take a chance. Sadly, there are a lot of selfish parents who are more interested in taking a stand than doing what’s right for their kids and all of the other kids.”
As of late Wednesday afternoon, there is no mask item on next week’s Palm Beach County School Board meeting agenda. Instead, the Board is expected to approve several COVID-related policies regarding visitors and academic requirements.
“Anything can change with short notice,” said the source. “Everyone wants the masks to go away. That’s a given. But we can’t do it until it’s safe. And right now, it’s not safe enough.”
The Centers for Disease Control reports that at least 58,933 people have died in Florida, so far, from COVID-19. The current positivity rate for Palm Beach County, according to the CDC, is just 4.11 percent. Only 68.4 percent of eligible Palm Beach County residents have been vaccinated.
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