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Hillsborough Schools Extend Mask Mandate While Citing Sharp Decrease In COVID Cases

 The Hillsborough County School District announced on Sept. 9, 2021, that it was extending its mask mandate for 30 days.
The Hillsborough County School District announced on Sept. 9, 2021, that it was extending its mask mandate for 30 days.

The Hillsborough County School District says the mandate has resulted in a 58% decrease in coronavirus cases since they reached their peak last month.

Hillsborough County students and staff will be required to wear masks in schools for another 30 days, unless they opt out for medical reasons.

The school district voted to extend the mask mandate during Wednesday's regularly scheduled board meeting.

In a letter to parents and staff, the district says the mandate has resulted in a 58% percent decrease in cases since they reached their peak on Aug. 20 — two days after the mandate went into effect.

At that point, the district says 13,485 people either tested positive or were in quarantine.

That number was down to 5,647 as of Wednesday.

Hillsborough is one of several counties to defy Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order that aims to block mask mandates enacted by local school districts and give the choice to parents. A judge overturned that order and said it can't be enforced, and the case is under appeal.

The extension in Hillsborough will run through Oct. 15.

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