MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Face coverings are now completely optional for students, staff, visitors and volunteers in Marion County Public Schools.
The change comes following the latest COVID-19 numbers released by the Florida Department of Health - Marion County.
School board officials say masks are now optional because the following criteria was met:
- Local positivity rate declines to the "substantial" level or lower. Latest numbers show this at 4.9 percent.
- Rate of new cases per 100,000 persons declines to the "substantial" level or lower. Latest numbers show this at 67.7 percent.
- Both of these numbers hold steady for at least two weeks.
Face coverings can still be worn by anyone on public school property in Marion County.
Visitors and volunteers will also be welcomed back to campus, according to officials.
The district says it will continue steps preventing the spread of COVID-19, including regularly disinfecting hi-touch surfaces, stressing hand washing and use of hand sanitizer, utilizing ultraviolet (UV) lighting in air handling systems, practicing safe social distancing when possible and more.