HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Students in Hillsborough County will be back to school on Tuesday as cases of covid rise. But don’t expect any mask warrant return.
As the COVID rate rises in Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County School Superintendent Addison Davis said state law now prevents school systems from applying a mask warrant, but students will be encouraged to wear them.
“First and foremost, we cannot impose masks with Bill 1B. We continue to encourage and will continue to do so as an organization, ”said Davis.
First-grader Libby Brown is ready to go back to school after her winter break.
“I can do some really fun crafts when I get back,” Brown said.
But as the students and their families have left and spent time together, the covid landscape has changed again.
Superintendent Davis said before the winter break, the county’s positive covid rate was 4%. Now it’s almost 14 percent.
“This is all down to the time we spent with our friends, loved ones at holiday gatherings, which we all desperately need, but everything has started to evolve with a new variant and that’s what you see with a point. within our community, ”said Davis.
However, the question of wearing a mask or not wearing a mask is more controversial than ever.
“I defer to their parents and I think it is the appropriate decision for the school board to defer to the parents’ decision,” said Colleen Brown.
Libby’s brother Andrew says they will wear masks.
“Yes, we have to come back with masks because there are a lot of sick people around,” Andrew said.
School board president Nadia Combs says the goal is to keep students in the classroom.
“We are learning that we have to adapt and live with it because we can’t have kids outside of school for years and we know that students have a place in schools,” Combs said.
Superintendent Davis says he expects around two thousand employees to be absent from work tomorrow, with their positions temporarily filled with school district employees and even athletic coaches being asked to replace a course to continue the process. educative.