Face coverings now optional in Marion County Public Schools

Students wear their masks as they get off their buses at West Port High School in this file photo. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 
With local positivity rates declining, face coverings are now completely optional for students, staff members, campus visitors and volunteers, Marion County Public Schools announced on Friday, Oct. 22.

The Marion County School Board (MCSB) had previously indicated that it might revisit face coverings at local schools, if COVID-19 numbers remained below 99.9 cases per 100,000 and the positivity rate for new cases remained below 10% for two weeks.

The latest numbers released by the Florida Department of Health-Marion County (FDOH-MC) met the criteria spelled out in the MCSB’s face covering resolution adopted Aug. 17.

The resolution, per Centers for Disease Control data, specifically required that the local positivity rate and the rate of new cases per 100,000 persons decline to the “substantial” level or lower, and that both of these conditions must hold steady for at least two weeks.

As of Oct. 22, all three conditions above have been met, according to the MCPS press release.

Even though face coverings are no longer required, they will remain optional on any public school property in Marion County, according to the release. And MCPS will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and will meet regularly with the FDOH-MC for the latest pandemic updates.

The district will also continue steps preventing the spread of COVID-19, including regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces, stressing hand washing and use of hand sanitizer, as well as utilizing (UV) lighting in air handling systems, practicing safe social distancing when possible and more, the release continued.

For more information, contact the Public Relations Office at www.marionschools.net or www.cdc.gov.

Posted in Community, Health, News

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