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Palm Beach Schools Dropping Mask Mandate

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) - Palm Beach County has become the latest school district to drop or scale back student mask requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Palm Beach district announced that effective November 15th, parents will be able to opt students out of wearing masks.

The announcement came after other districts, including Orange County and Duval County, recently dropped mask requirements. Also, Miami-Dade County said it would continue requiring masks only for elementary-school students.

The Palm Beach County schools website said the decision to drop its mask mandate stemmed from a steady decline in the county's COVID-19 positivity rate and a federal decision to approve vaccine use for children ages 5 to 12.

"While I will reinstate a parent facial covering opt-out effective November 15, the metrics will continue to guide my decisions, but barring any unforeseen dramatic reversal of current trends, the community can plan on a return to a parent opt-out on November 15," Palm Beach County Superintendent Mike Burke said in a prepared statement.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, the state Department of Education and the state Department of Health have sought to bar student mask mandates, but some districts, including Palm Beach, have been in conflict with state directives.

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)


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