Florida school district to relax mask mandate for high school students

Florida school district to relax mask mandate for high school students
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The Broward County, Fla., school district decided to relax its mask mandate for high school students, The Associated Press reported.

Starting next week, mask wearing will be optional for high school students in the school district, though still highly recommended.

Broward County Interim Superintendent Vickie Cartwright suggested that masks should be optional for all students if the COVID-19 positivity rate remains below 5 percent.

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School board members argued that high schoolers should have the option to go maskless since they are all old enough to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the AP. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for children ages 12 and older.

The school board also voted 5-3 to still keep a mask mandate for elementary and middle school students. 

Broward County was one of the few school districts in the state to implement a mask mandate at the beginning of the school year, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The measure defied Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisThe Memo: Media obsess over Trump's past as he eyes comeback DeSantis proposes civilian Florida State Guard military force he would control Haley hits the stump in South Carolina MORE’s (R) ban on mask mandates in classrooms, leading state education officials to threaten to withhold funding from Broward and other school districts, though the Biden administration has said it will support school districts amid the mask dispute.