OCPS removes mask requirement for employees

OCPS host its 2021 State of the Schools address Friday, Nov. 12.

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Orange County Public Schools employees no longer are required to wear masks in school.

Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins announced the change at OCPS' 2021 State of the Schools, held Friday, Nov. 12, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the entrance to Universal Orlando.

Jenkins said the decision to unmask employees, which came Thursday, Nov. 11, was made because of the low positivity rate in the community.

Jenkins and School Board Chairwoman Teresa Jacobs were some of the district leaders who attended and highlighted the accomplishments OCPS made and challenges it faced during the last two years.

Mental health for students was also a major topic of discussion during the address. OCPS said the need for mental health resources for students has increased during the pandemic.

"Not only did they suffer academically we know children suffered throughout our community with social-emotional needs, and so we have additional social workers, additional mental health counselors in all of our schools throughout the community," Jenkins said.

OCPS also kicked off its vaccine events at schools this week, which we told you about here

OCPS said it has currently vaccinated about 2,500 people so far. The district is looking to add additional clinics in the near future.

First-dose locations will run through Saturday, Nov. 13. Some West Orange schools included in the first-dose locations include Ocoee High School, Dr. Phillips High School, Windermere High School and Horizon High School. 

The full list of first-dose locations can be found here



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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