Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Sarasota School Board To Vote On Extending Mask Policy

If extended, the face covering policy could remain in place until the end of the school year.
Sarasota County Public Schools Facebook
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The Sarasota County School Board will discuss the district’s face-covering policy at a workshop on Tuesday and will later vote on whether to keep a mask mandate in place.

The emergency order requiring face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 is set to expire early next month.

If extended, the policy could remain in place until the end of the school year.

Public health officials have urged the board to keep the mask mandate in place. At a school board meeting in September, Sarasota County Health Department administrator Chuck Henry said masks and social distancing were key tools to mitigating the virus.

But a vocal contingent of protesters has objected to the mask policy at recentschool board meetings.

Earlier this month, people for and against face masks, verbally taunted each other at meetings, which caused security to escort people out of the meeting room.

The school board vote takes place amid a rising positivity test rate for COVID-19 in Sarasota County. As of Monday, just over 6 percent of tests have come back positive, compared to under 4 percent, two weeks ago.

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.