A Florida school district is calling an emergency meeting after thousands of students were told to quarantine nearly a week after classes started, CNN says.
Officials with Hillsborough County Public Schools plan to meet Wednesday afternoon (August 18) to discuss COVID-19 mitigation tactics. This comes after the school board said 5,599 students and 316 were told to isolate or quarantine Monday (August 16).
The Tampa-area school district is the seventh-largest one in the United States, according to its official Twitter page. A 2020-2021 report from the district says 21% of the district's student population is Black.
District leaders added that mandatory face coverings are on the table when it comes to discussing their strategy. This would apply to all students and staff if put in place.
Florida is one of the several states getting hit hard by a coronavirus resurgence fueled by the Delta variant and other strains. The Sunshine State broke records earlier this month for the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a single day.
Despite these troubling statistics, Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to withhold funding to school districts and even salaries if officials mandated masks. He argued that parents should decide whether their children should wear masks to school.
Hillsborough County Public Schools announced they would require face coverings before the school year started, but gave parents the option to opt their children out, according to school officials. The district has received nearly 28,000 opt-out submissions so far, school district spokesperson Tanya Arja said.
Officials noted that the mask requirement is still effective through September 3 as of Tuesday (August 17).