Hillsborough County School Board votes to extend mask mandate 30 days

Coronavirus

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The mask mandate will remain in place in Hillsborough County Public Schools for another 30 days, through Oct. 15.

The School Board voted 5-1 Thursday afternoon, with Board Vice Chair Stacy Hahn, the lone nay vote.

The mask mandate was set to expire on Friday, September 17. The mandatory facial covering requirement allows for a parental opt-out form with a medical certificate.

Dozens of parents and the community spoke during Thursday’s public comment portion.

Superintendent Addison Davis shared data with the board that showed before the mask mandate was implemented on Aug. 18, 10,722 students and staff were in isolation or quarantine.

On August 20, 13,485 students and staff (5.61%) were in isolation or quarantine.

As of September 8, 5,647 students and staff (2.33%) were in isolation or quarantine.

The school board’s discussion comes after Judge John Cooper granted an emergency motion to vacate the automatic stay in the Florida school mask lawsuit trial. It is the second time he has sided with the group of parents who sued Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Education.

Judge Cooper’s ruling means districts can still keep mask mandates in place and the Department of Education cannot punish school board members while the case goes through the appeals process.

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