Miami-Dade students can opt-out of wearing mask starting Tuesday

High school and traditional middle school students in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system now will be able to opt-out of facial coverings, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 2.

That announcement came following Monday’s school day, allowing parents to decide what their child should do.

Parents will need to complete an opt-out form and return it to their child’s school. Forms can be downloaded by clicking here, or obtained at the school.

Miami-Dade students can opt-out of wearing mask starting Tuesday

Additionally, fully vaccinated employees in high schools and traditional middle schools, as well as non-school sites, may choose not to wear facial coverings.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho talked about relaxing facial coverings and social distancing within the past 10 days, depending if the COVID-19 statistics continued to decline, and based on information from several sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).

The classroom mask mandate by a select group of school boards across the state, including Miami-Dade — the nation’s fourth-largest school district — has led to lawsuits, political clashes, and the withholding of salaries and funding from School Board members and from respective counties.

According to Florida’s latest COVID Dashboard, released Friday, Miami-Dade County’s per capita rate dipped to 75.9, while the positivity rate slipped to 2.0% for the week.

As of Oct. 31, Miami-Dade’s weekly average was 281 cases a day for the past week, more than a 41% decrease from the weekly average three weeks ago.

Back on Aug. 18, when Miami-Dade Public School Board officials voted 7-1 to begin the year with mandatory masks, the seven-day average in the county soared to 3,094 cases a day.

Overall, 1 in 4 people in the county have been infected by COVID, or a total of 671,987 reported cases. Miami-Dade County vaccinated rate is the lowest of all of Florida’s 67 counties.

The latest ruling does not affect K-8 students.

The School Board still is advising parents that while conditions have improved, the CDC continues to recommend universal masking in schools, regardless of vaccination status.

For more information, visit the district's website, dadeschools.net.

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