Florida’s largest school district drops all mask mandates


Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announces at a news conference that wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19 will be optional in public schools, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Miami. The new guideline will go into effect Friday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI (AP) — Florida’s largest school district is dropping all mask mandates, allowing parents in all grades decide whether their children should wear a face covering.

Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made the announcement Tuesday after a judge ruled last week that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was within its authority to allow parents to opt out of strict mandates.

Broward, Miami-Dade, Orange, Duval, Alachua and Leon counties had sued in opposition to a Sept. 22 update to the Department of Health’s emergency rules for COVID-19.

The six school districts that had sued the state over the rule had the case dismissed due to “an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority,” according to the Judge Brian Newman’s ruling.

But rather than cite the decision, Carvalho said coronavirus cases are dropping and said protocols could change if cases spike again.

Broward County, the second largest school district, was also discussing changes to its mask mandate Tuesday.

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