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Northeast Florida school districts considering whether to provide masks to students & staff

Other districts weighing PPE purchases after Duval County School Board approves $300K purchase

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County School Board voted Tuesday night to spend more than $300,000 purchasing reusable face masks that will be provided to every student and employee in the district.

Following that move, News4Jax asked other school districts in Northeast Florida whether they’re considering offering personal protective equipment before students and staff potentially return to their campuses this fall.

A spokesperson for the Clay County School District said that school leaders are engaging in a discussion about whether or not to purchase and provide PPE, but noted that no decision has yet been made.

The question of providing masks to personnel is also underway in the Nassau County School District.

“This is definitely a consideration, but we will be relying heavily on guidance we receive from the Florida Department of Education," Assistant Superintendent Mark Durham said. "For the staff we have currently working on our campuses, we are providing masks. However, we aren’t requiring them to wear them at this time.”

In Columbia County, district-provided masks have been ruled out for the time being.

“We are not planning to purchase student face mask at this time for our August 10 student start date,” said Superintendent Alex Carswell.

St. Johns County School District’s spokeswoman Christina Langston said leaders are talking about how the district will handle personal protective equipment.

“We are discussing personal protective equipment as a whole,” Langston said. “We have not specifically discussed face masks for students and staff yet.”

A spokeswoman for the Baker County School District told News4Jax that leaders are awaiting for guidance and information from state and federal agencies before deciding on whether to provide PPE to students.

News4Jax also contacted Putnam and Bradford Counties’ school districts for information but did not immediately receive a reply Wednesday.