Marion County schools make masks optional, officials say

Face coverings were previously mandated with opt-out option

Marion County schools are getting ready to welcome some students back for summer school. (WKMG 2020)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Marion County Public Schools announced Friday masks are now completely optional for students, staff and campus visitors.

The county’s schools previously had a mask mandate with an opt-out option, but changed the policy after the latest data released by the Florida Department of Health in Marion County aligned with the requirements spelled out in the school board’s face covering resolution.

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The resolution, which required both the local positivity rate and cases per 100,000 students to be substantially lower, went into effect Aug. 21.

Officials said both these numbers had to “hold steady for at least two weeks.”

According to the latest statistics from the Florida Department of Health, Marion County’s positivity rate is at 4.9% and the rate of new cases among 100,000 is at 67.7%.

“With the face covering resolution now dissolved, though not required, face coverings can still be worn by anyone on public school property in Marion County,” officials wrote in an email.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.