2 Florida School Districts Ease Mask Mandates After Defying Gov. DeSantis

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Two Florida school districts are loosening their face covering rules after officials say they're seeing better COVID-19 conditions, according to CNN.

Officials with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Broward County School Board announced Tuesday (November 9) that that K-8 students and staff aren't required to wear masks anymore. They still "strongly encourage" their use, reporters say.

The coronavirus positivity rate in Miami-Dade County dipped to 2% as of Tuesday. MDCPS Superintendant Alberto Carvalho says this is below the threshold for K-8 students to opt-out of the mandate. He added that 63% of eligible children have been fully vaccinated against the unprecedented disease.

"We consulted once again with our medical experts having obtained overwhelming consensus about today's announcement," Carvalho said. He recently announced a similar policy for high school seniors and middle school students, CNN noted.

As for Broward County Public Schools, school board members voted Tuesday to make masks optional. Vaccinations will also be offered to students starting Wednesday (November 10) but with parental permission.

Miami-Dade's changes will reportedly go into effect Friday (November 12). Broward's new rules will start on November 20.

Broward and Miami-Dade, two of the state's largest school districts, made headlines when they butted heads with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state education department over mask mandates.

Both districts were among the eight that were sanctioned when DeSantis threatened to withhold funding and salaries for upholding mask rules. The Republican governor frequently touts that a parent should decide whether their child wears a mask or not, something added to his executive order.

DeSantis' order prohibiting mask mandates in schools was blocked twice.

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