Calls grow for Pinellas County schools to impose mask mandate


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Parents, health experts and organizations are coming together to call for stricter COVID-19 safety measures in Pinellas County schools.

The League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area is part of the coalition set to gather outside Pinellas County school headquarters at 9:30 a.m. Monday morning to call for change. The coalition also plans to host a rally at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, ahead of the Pinellas County School Board’s 10 a.m. meeting.

“Pinellas County is being ravaged by the Delta variant. With the layered prevention strategies that worked last year—distance, masks and hygiene—eliminated, a group of parents, educators, and concerned citizens have come together to organize a press conference, a day before the Pinellas County School Board regular meeting,” a press release from the group’s president reads in part.

The coalition says it plans to call for:

  • A 60-day mask mandate for students, administrators, faculty and staff
  • Transparent and timely report for all classroom COVID exposures to staff, and the public

A district representative provides those numbers to 8 On Your Side each day.

On Thursday, the district reported 150 confirmed cases among students and 18 among employees.

Note: The story previously said Pinellas County did not have an online dashboard to track COVID-19 cases, but the district does have a dashboard that shows the number of COVID-19 cases in classrooms. This story has been corrected.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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