Yesterday, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran ordered Florida public schools to reopen this August, and now it appears that when teachers and students return to Hillsborough schools, they’ll have to wear face masks.
“After thoughtful consideration, and many discussions with health officials, district teachers, the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, Hillsborough School Employees Federation and families, Superintendent Addison Davis has made the decision to require face coverings at schools when classes resume August 10th,” announced the school district in a statement.
“The CDC has identified face coverings as one of the most effective tools and stopping the spread of COVID-19, along with social distancing, hand washing, and disinfecting frequently touched services,” said Davis.
Masks will be required in any shared space where social distancing is not possible, including classrooms, hallways and buses, though it was also noted that medical exceptions are available for students and staff with specific concerns.
Superintendent Davis said the new rule will be in place as long as new cases are rising, but will consider relaxing the rule if COVID-19 numbers drop.
“I’ve said since the beginning that the situation is fluid and we would make adjustments as we continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus in our community,” said Davis. “I believe acquiring face covering is the best option we have.”
The district will give each student three reusable masks on the first day of classes, and disposable masks will also be available to anyone who forgets. Each staff member will receive their three masks on the first day of pre-planning.
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