Orange County Public Schools moves to parent opt-out face mask policy for students

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County Public Schools will not extend its face mask mandate for students and instead offer a parent opt-out, the district announced Thursday.

Beginning Monday, the school district will return to required face masks with a parental opt-out provision. Parents or guardians can opt their child out of wearing a face mask based on a signed note delivered to the school.

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The face mask mandate for all OCPS buildings and buses expires Saturday.

READ: Parents hope end of Orange County state of emergency could lead to no mask mandates in schools

The decision came “after speaking with local medical advisers and board members, noting the significant reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County, and hearing Mayor Demings announce the end of his local emergency order,” according to a news release.

“The district hopes parents will seriously consider the opportunity, when available, to vaccinate their children in consultation with their medical providers,” the district said in a news release.

READ: Should my child get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Employees, visitors and volunteers will be required to wear a face mask until further notice. The district said it projects making face masks optional for employees and other adults after Dec. 3 or sooner based on data.

READ: ‘Tomorrow will provide clarity’: Upcoming OCPS mask decision poses issues for both sides of debate

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.