Volusia school leaders ironing out final COVID-19 safety plans

School board to meet with department of health on Tuesday

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – School is just three weeks away and, with cases spiking across Central Florida, school leaders are once again strategizing how to handle the coronavirus in the classrooms.

Volusia County’s school board and district staff are expected to meet with the county’s health department Tuesday evening to talk about what sort of safety guidelines can be put in place.

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Board member Carl Persis said the way school will look this year could be even more different than last year.

“Last year, we just didn’t know anything and we didn’t have the vaccine,” he said.

Unlike last year, there is no remote learning option.

As to what safety protocols will be in place, board members and district leaders are once again hearing different opinions from parents.

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“We are moving forward with CDC guidelines as much as possible. We know that there are limitations on masks that the governor has been very clear about,” said board member Ruben Colon.

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The county health department said less than a quarter of eligible children are vaccinated as of this week.

“We’re going to have to do multiple layers of protection because we have such a low vaccination rate not only among our children but our staff at the schools,” said county health director Patricia Boswell.

She said just more than 50% of the county is vaccinated and believes that will be mirrored in the schools.

Volusia made masks optional at the start of summer school and nothing has indicated that will change. However, Boswell said she will suggest following CDC guidelines.

“If you’re two years old and older and you’re not vaccinated, you have to wear a mask indoors,” she said.

That meeting is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and will be streamed on the school district’s website.

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About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.