Schools

Mask Mandate Extended For Palm Beach County Schools

COVID-19 Florida News Palm Beach County Palm Beach County Schools Schools

Employees, Visitors Required To Wear Masks In School Buildings.

Schools

BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Palm Beach County School District is extending its mask mandate for employees and visitors to school buildings. This includes all teachers. Students continue to be encouraged to wear masks, but due to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ anti-masking campaigns, can not be ordered to do so.

This email from Superintendent Michael Burke is being sent this evening to parents, teachers, employees and others related to the Palm Beach County School District.


The most recent data concerning the COVID-19 positivity rate in Palm Beach County is encouraging; while still high, the numbers are beginning to decline. On January 14, the positivity rate exceeded 30%. Data released by health officials on January 21 indicates that the new rate is trending above 20%.

Superintendent Mike Burke is continually consulting with local health officials and reviewing information pertaining to the highly-contagious Omicron variant, in hopes of eliminating the mandatory facial covering rule for all employees, vendors, and visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

At this point however, the Superintendent has decided that it remains in the best interest of our schools, students, and staff to keep the current facial covering requirement for those individuals in place for another week. He will re-evaluate the situation again on January 28.

Facial coverings serve as a mitigating factor in helping to control the spread of COVID-19, and in doing so, keeping our students and staff healthy, while reducing absenteeism and staffing shortages.

As a reminder, the District is prohibited from mandating facial coverings for students. Nonetheless, masks are highly encouraged.

The School District will continue to remain vigilant with all of the other COVID-19 transmission mitigation strategies that we have had in place throughout the pandemic, including the use of  MERV-13 air filters, portable HEPA air purification units in classrooms and clinics, enhanced cleaning, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and other measures. 

Additionally, school nurses will continue to test symptomatic students who have a consent form on file. For your convenience, the District is continually updating the list of testing and vaccination sites located throughout the County. That information can be found here


The school district is on the cusp of 11,000 reported COVID-19 cases this school year. That is more than three times the number recorded during all of the 2020-2021 school year.

 

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