What will it take to end DCPS’ mask mandate early? Board approves guidelines needed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In order for Duval County Public Schools’ mask mandate to end, COVID-19 cases must come down — a lot.

According to DCPS’ mask mandate policy, the requirement is in place for 90 days. But Tuesday, the school board voted unanimously on specific benchmarks that will allow for the district to end the requirement early.

If COVID-19 transmission is “moderate” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a seven-day rolling average, the mandate will be lifted.

The CDC defines “moderate” transmission as the percent positivity rate between 5% to 7%, or the rate of new cases per 100,000 people between 10% to 50%.

The board voted 7-0 to update the district’s policy to include the new criteria needed to end the mandate.

Last week, the district’s positivity rate was 13%-14%, according to Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. That puts Duval in the CDC’s “high” zone of transmissions.

The school district began the mask requirement on Tuesday in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19 throughout schools.

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Bailey Husker

Bailey Husker, Action News Jax

Bailey Husker is a digital content producer and assignment editor for Action News Jax.