Flagler Schools to make face coverings optional during summer programs

The Flagler County School District said its current policy requiring face coverings in the classroom will be lifted after June 5, barring any spike in new COVID-19 cases.

District officials said that unless there is a significant jump in coronavirus cases or other safety/health issues arise, face coverings will be optional on campuses (indoors and outdoors) for summer programs.

"We will continue to work with our medical experts, who review this information regularly," a spokesperson for the district said.

Should the course of the virus change, face coverings may again be required.

The move comes just days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order lifting COVID-19 restrictions across the state; however, the order does not apply to schools.  The governor said each district will determine its own policies regarding face coverings.

RELATED: Suspension of COVID-19 restrictions in Florida does not apply to schools

FOX 35 News spoke with one Flager father, Eric Williams, who is on the fence about the school district’s decision. Williams said one of his children struggles with asthma and has been homeschooled throughout the pandemic in order to stay safe. 

"We are going to stay the course. Everyone wears their masks. Just nothing is different from our perspective."

Williams said he felt the decision was a little premature. However, he said the change won’t have a major impact on students, considering the mandate is ending at the same time school wraps up for the summer.

"By next year we are hoping everyone will have been vaccinated," Williams added.

In neighboring Volusia County, the school board discussed mask policy at a workshop last week and will vote to advertise policy revisions at its May 11 board meeting. 

"As presently drafted, the proposed policy change to be advertised by the school board would make face coverings voluntary at schools and other VCS facilities effective July 1," said district spokesperson Kelly Schulz. "Volusia County Schools’ current face-covering policy will remain in effect for now, and the school board will move forward with considering the proposed change in VCS policy."

Schulz said the district will share any changes to the face-covering policy with families and employees as soon as the information becomes available. 

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.