- School District of Manatee County
Sharp Decline in COVID Cases Leads to Lifting of Mask Mandate
Thursday, October 21, 2021
On August 24, 2021, the School Board directed Superintendent Cynthia Saunders to extend a mask mandate with an opt-out provision for all students and employees through Friday, October 29, 2021. The 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate in Manatee County on August 24th was 18.1%. In its directive, the School Board included a provision that would allow the superintendent to remove the mandate if the 7-day positivity rate reached 8%.
Now that the 7-day positivity rate for COVID-19 cases in Manatee County has been below 5% since Saturday, October 9th, and positive cases in our schools have declined sharply and steadily, the School District is lifting the mask mandate with opt-out provisions for students and employees. The positivity rate for Tuesday, October, 19, 2021 was 4.3%, according to the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County.
That being the case, wearing masks in schools and district support sites is optional for students and employees. Opt-out forms are no longer needed. (Please follow the Manatee Education Association’s Memorandum of Understanding with the district regarding protocols for school visitors. The MEA-MOU protocols are the same for district and non-district visitors). District staff visiting schools will now follow this MOU language.
Other key COVID-19 prevention measures will continue to stay in place such as routine hand-washing, daily cleaning and disinfecting and making sure students and employees who are sick or who have COVID-19 symptoms stay home until they are cleared to return to school.
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