Sarasota County School Board votes in favor of extending face mask policy

Sarasota County School Board votes in favor of extending face mask policy
Sarasota County School Board will decide whether or not to extend the district's face mask order through June. (Source: Sarasota County School District)

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Sarasota County school board members voted 5 to 0 in favor of extending the district’s current face mask policy for staff and students Tuesday.

Currently, students and staff must wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth while inside school buildings and on school buses unless they are medically exempt. However the face mask policy was only put in place for 90 days. School board members decided to extend it through June 30th, 2021.

At Tuesday’s meeting, school board members heard from parents about their kids wearing face masks. School Board member Bridget Ziegler said they have received mixed feedback from parents. An addition to the policy will now allow students to have five minute breaks from the mask.

According to Sarasota County School District’s COVID-19 dashboard, since the beginning of the school year there has been one COVID-19 case among staff and fifteen COVID-19 cases among students.

“I’m really impressed and really happy to see that we haven’t had a substantial number of need to quarantine and as we know we have that dashboard. I was just looking at that last night, through two weeks I’m very impressed. So I think that there’s no question as I’ve said before masks are absolutely one of most effective mitigation tools from spreading the virus. My one issue consistently was, it is only effective when properly used," said Ziegler.

Ziegler said she has some concerns of effectiveness of face masks among younger elementary school children since they touch more things and move around more than older students.

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