Masks set to become optional at Orange County Public Schools

In response to new bills prohibiting vaccine mandates signed by Gov. DeSantis on Thursday, OCPS announced that wearing masks will be made optional.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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On Thursday, Nov. 18, Orange County Public Schools announced an update to its mask policy. 

Beginning on Monday, Nov. 29, after Thanksgiving break, masks will become optional for all adults, including visitors, vendors and volunteers on OCPS property.

OCPS officials said the change is a result of the new bills prohibiting vaccine mandates signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday morning, which we told you about here

"Masks will now be optional for students in OCPS buildings and vehicles," OCPS said in a statement. "Parent notes are no longer required and staff will no longer monitor face mask compliance."

According to the Florida Department of Health, the latest weekly positivity rate for COVID-19 in Florida was listed at 2.5%.

Health officials said 69% of people in Orange County, age five and older, are vaccinated. 

OCPS continued the statement saying that although the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary, it is encouraged. 

"If you were one of the 5,600 plus people who received the COVID-19 vaccine during one of our vaccination events, thank you," OCPS officials said. 

Vaccination events will continue to be offered at OCPS locations after Thanksgiving break.




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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