Lake County to vote Sept. 9 on mask requirement with opt-out option for schools with high COVID cases

The Lake County School Board will meet next week to vote on superintendent Diane Kornegay’s proposal that would require students and staff at schools with the highest percentage of positive COVID-19 cases to wear masks until the number of cases drops.

Parents who do not want their children to wear a mask would be allowed to opt-out.

The proposal was presented to the board in a special meeting on Sept. 2, but the board did not take any action.

The board opted, instead, to schedule another special meeting on Sept. 9 and clearly announce to the public that a vote would be taken.

The meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the commission chambers at the Lake County Administration Building, located at 315 W. Main Street in Tavares.

Public input will be accepted in person and online via Zoom.

Under the new policy, staff would review the percentage of enrolled students at each school who test positive over a two-week period.

Any school where fewer than 3% of students test positive would be categorized as "green."

The district would continue to encourage students and staff at these schools to wear a mask and follow all other precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Schools where 3% to 4.9% of students test positive would be identified as "yellow."

Cases in these schools would be closely monitored, cleaning protocols would be increased and the district would continue to strongly encourage masks.

Schools where 5% or more of the students test positive would be classified as "red."

Students, parents and staff would be notified, and masks would be required until the percentage drops below 5% and is maintained for 14 calendar days.

Lake schools in the "Red" zone based on data from Aug. 16-27 are:

  • Treadway Elementary -- 8.27%
  • Seminole Springs Elementary – 6.00%
  • Umatilla Elementary – 6.88%
  • Eustis Middle – 6.83%
  • Mount Dora Middle – 6.41%
  • Umatilla Middle – 7.01%
  • Umatilla High – 5.70%

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