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Education

Sarasota School Board To Vote On Extending Mask Policy

Sara masks.jpg
Sarasota County Public Schools Facebook
If extended, the face covering policy could remain in place until the end of the school year.

The Sarasota County School District currently requires all students and staff to wear face masks, unless they have a medical exemption.

The Sarasota County School Board will discuss the district’s face-covering policy at a workshop on Tuesday and will later vote on whether to keep a mask mandate in place.

The emergency order requiring face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is set to expire early next month.

If extended, the policy could remain in place until the end of the school year.

Public health officials have urged the board to keep the mask mandate in place. At a school board meeting in September, Sarasota County Health Department administrator Chuck Henry said masks and social distancing were key tools to mitigating the virus.

But a vocal contingent of protesters has objected to the mask policy at recent school board meetings.

Earlier this month, people for and against face masks, verbally taunted each other at meetings, which caused security to escort people out of the meeting room.

The school board vote takes place amid a rising positivity test rate for COVID-19 in Sarasota County. As of Monday, just over 6 percent of tests have come back positive, compared to under 4 percent, two weeks ago.