Broward Public Schools Says Mask Policy Remains in Place, For Now

District battling Florida governor over mandating masks for upcoming school year

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The fight over requiring masks in Broward County Public Schools continued Wednesday, with the district insisting that their facial covering policy remains in place for the time being.

In a statement, the district said masks are still required in schools and facilities, but said they're still awaiting further guidance before making a decision on requiring masks for the upcoming school year.

"Safety remains our highest priority. The District will advocate for all eligible students and staff to receive vaccines and will also work to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines – including frequent cleaning and disinfecting of our schools, hand washing, and staying home when sick," the district said in a statement.

The Broward School Board was set to discuss the issue at an August 10 workshop.

With the much more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 now spreading exponentially, Florida hit 11,515 hospitalized patients Tuesday, breaking last year's record for the third straight day and up from just 1,000 in mid-June.

Last week, the school board mandated wearing masks in schools when in-person learning resumes on August 18 for all students, teachers and staff, including those who are vaccinated.

But shortly after the Broward Schools mandate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order prohibiting school districts from mandating masks and threatened to cut funding for districts that don't comply.

DeSantis has argued that parents should make the decision about whether their children should wear masks.

On Monday, Broward Schools released a statement saying they would comply with DeSantis' order, but Wednesday's statement left the issue unresolved.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that all students and teachers wear masks in school this year.

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