Duval County School District goes back to optional mask requirements

FILE -Sept. 1, 2021, file photo,(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File) (Darko Vojinovic, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County students no longer need a doctor’s note to opt out of wearing a face mask. The district decided to relax its policy now that the seven-day positivity rate has declined below 7.99%.

Masks are still required, but opting out is easier. More than 10,000 parents had filed an opt-out for their child earlier this year, and they did not have to fill out a new one. Since Friday, 161 new opt-out forms were filed with DCPS.

The current DCPS dashboard shows a seven-day positivity rate of 2.9-percent and a seven-day average of 41.2 new cases per 100,000 people.

In a statement Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said in part:

“There have clearly been no easy answers or universally accepted solutions, but I am encouraged that our community transmission status continues to improve and hopeful that we can all come together around the common goal of providing exceptional learning experiences and outstanding achievement for your children.”

The shift comes as the state upheld its plan to cut funding from Duval County over its mask policy.

News4Jax confirmed the state has already pulled $26,770-- that is equal to one month of the salary paid to the district’s 7 school board members.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.