Face masks now completely optional in Marion County Public Schools

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — Marion County Public Schools announced Friday that face masks are now totally optional for students, staff, visitors and volunteers.

Officials said the changes come after the Florida Department of Health — Marion County released COVID-19 data that met the criteria laid out by the school board’s face-covering resolution.


That includes the local positivity rate declining to the “substantial” level or lower, with the latest numbers showing this at 4.9%; and the rate of new cases per 100,000 persons declining to the “substantial” level or lower, with the latest numbers showing this at 67.7%.

READ: ‘The summer Delta surge in Florida is over,’ Florida Hospital Association CEO says

As of Friday, both of those numbers have held steady for at least two weeks.

Officials said face coverings can still be worn by anyone on public school property in Marion County.

READ: Coronavirus: Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine over 90% effective for kids ages 5 to 11

Visitors and volunteers will also be welcomed back to campus. Elementary schools in particular can soon schedule campus events that previously were not allowed.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.