On Oct. 27 the Seminole County School Board unanimously voted to extend the mask policy indefinitely. This decision will allow the mandate to still be in effect in all Seminole County Schools in the event that the state of emergency expires.
Proper mask wearing is now mandatory in all Seminole County Schools. There are minimal exceptions to not wearing a mask, which are further explained by the Seminole County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
“I’ve interacted with many parents, I’ve had zero concerns expressed to me, I think people realize that not only are the students and adults protecting themselves but they’re protecting others,” Seminole County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Walt Griffin said to Spectrum News 13.
Since COVID-19’s spread to Florida, the state has seen over 1 million cases and over 18,000 deaths due to the virus. Despite efforts in preventing another surge in cases in response to the amount of cases that were reported over summer, positive tests are still continuing to increase.
“I completely agree and support the school board’s choice,” junior Delaney Rosenblatt said. “I think that masks are very important right now, especially in Florida when we are seeing cases consistently rise. As students, even if we disagree with some of their decisions, we have to understand that their job is to promote education and protect students and keep us healthy. If we all wear masks now, that will only shorten the time that we are affected by COVID.”
Changing to an indefinite length of time, masks will need to be worn at all times, with exceptions to lunch and health. Although the mandatory requirement for masks may be for the best, some students have mixed feelings about the mandate.
“I’m neither for or against it [masks], but I do find them annoying,” junior Alexis Scott said. “And, what’s the point of wearing them to school when everyone is always around each other?”
The CDC provides information that masks are an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling onto other people and that masks may slow down the spread of the virus, especially from people who are not aware of their infection. More widespread mask wearing may be needed, as evidence shows that the virus can genetically mutate, making it possible to become more contagious.
“I don’t think [COVID-19] it’ll ever go away, I don’t think that’s possible,” junior Amanda Halladay said. “I think that it’s a good decision because of the rising COVID cases and people need to stay protected. We should try our best to keep the numbers low.”