Here are the COVID-19 protocols for students, staff in Central Florida as new school year begins

A new school year is on the horizon, and districts are gearing up amid a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Here’s a breakdown of protocols that school districts in Central Florida have announced, including mask requirements for students and staff.

READ: Local school leaders work to protect students from COVID despite Governor’s order blocking mandates

Orange County Public Schools

Orange County Public Schools students, employees and visitors will be required to wear a face mask while indoors, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins announced.

Jenkins said the mandate is effective Friday and will last for the next 30 days.

READ: OCPS to require employees, visitors to wear face masks while indoors

Parents are allowed to send a note with their student to opt out of the mask requirement.

Seminole County Public Schools

Seminole County Public Schools has announced it will require students, employees, vendors and contractors to wear face coverings while on school district property beginning Friday.

“Based on the information from the Seminole County Emergency Management Department, our community continues to see an increase in the positivity rate for COVID-19 cases, which are fueled by the Delta variant,” the school district said in a news release.

READ: Seminole County Public Schools to require employees wear face masks, temporarily suspends visitors

Parents are allowed to send a note with their student to opt out of the mask requirement.

Brevard County Public Schools

Board members voted to place masks on their Aug. 10 agenda.

The previous school board meeting was met with contention as a controversial proposal to reinstate a mask mandate was added to the agenda, sending pro- and anti-mask groups into a frenzy in the ruby red corner of Central Florida.

READ: Parents take over Brevard County Schools meeting, board members escorted out

Osceola County Public Schools

Osceola County School Board back in June voted to allow masks to be optional for students, parents and employees starting in July.

Earlier in the week, concerned parents and teachers gathered in Osceola County to demand the school board implement a mask mandate.

READ: Parents, teachers gather at Osceola County school board meeting demanding mask mandate

The group Standing Heroes for Average Workers, founded by a former teacher in Osceola County, said it’s not safe to reopen schools now without precautions taken.

Marion County

Masks remain optional for students and employees when classes resume Aug. 10.

Polk County

Masks are optional at Polk County Public Schools for students and staff this school year.

On Thursday, the district said it is allowing schools to have virtual orientations in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases.

READ: Central Florida school districts aren’t yet tracking vaccinated employees as cases surge

Sumter County

Sumter County Public Schools said masks for students and staff this school year are optional, but could be made mandatory depending on CDC guidance.

Lake County

Masks will be optional.

Flagler County

Masks will be optional.

READ: 9 first-day-of-school tips for parents with kids going into kindergarten

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.