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Hernando County School Board implements mask mandate in schools with opt-out option for parents

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Posted at 8:17 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 15:02:03-04

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — The Hernando County School Board approved a mandatory mask mandate with a parental opt-out option. The school board held an emergency meeting Tuesday.

The school board said parents can fill out an opt-out form for their students. The school board attorney also said this mask mandate will follow the parents' bill of rights, which is required by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Hernando County Schools is giving a grace period for students this week, but starting Wednesday, Sept. 8, face masks will have to be worn indoors, on school property and where social distancing is not possible.

The district will not provide an opt-out option for adults. Face masks are required for all staff, parents, volunteers and vendors while indoors and on school property.

District leaders will continue to track rates of COVID-19 cases and the school board will revisit the mask mandate at the Oct. 12 meeting.

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The previous policy in Hernando County Schools stated face masks were recommended, but not required.

Hernando County is now the third school district in the Tampa Bay area to require masks in schools. Hillsborough and Sarasota Counties have also implemented mask mandates in schools.

The parental opt-out form can be found here.