Volusia health officials push school district to follow CDC mask guidelines

CDC reverses course and recommends masking again in schools

DeLAND, Fla. – The Volusia County school board will hear from the county health department Tuesday night as it irons out its COVID-19 safety plans.

Health director Patricia Bosewell said she will encourage the district to follow CDC guidelines, despite the school board voting to make masks option in June.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Citing new information about the ability of the delta variant to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

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“We need to take the CDC prevention strategies that we had in place last year and continue with them this year because a good portion of our students aren’t vaccinated,” Bosewell said.

Less than a quarter of eligible children have been vaccinated, and according to Bosewell, in July 1,000 people under the age of 19 years old were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Volusia.

“It’s going to be masks should be worn indoors by all individuals ages two years and older who are not fully vaccinated,” she said.

However, Bosewell said it would be up to the district to figure out who’s vaccinated and who’s not.

Right now, there’s nothing indicating the school district will change its mask-optional stance.

“We really need to leave it up to parents to decide if they want their children to wear masks,” board member Carl Persis said.

The board once again has differing opinions on how to move forward. They’re hoping to get clarification Tuesday night on what options they have.

“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.

After the school board meeting began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday board members said they would not vote on a new mask policy just yet.

About the Author:

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