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East County Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 8 months ago

School District of Manatee County provides clarity on mask policy

Cloth masks will be required on school property with exceptions.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

When students walk on campus or ride a bus to school Aug. 17 for the first day of school in Manatee County, they will be required to wear a cloth mask, but there will be exceptions.

Cynthia Saunders, superintendent of the School District of Manatee County, provided clarity on the district's mask policy during an emergency School Board of Manatee County meeting Aug. 14.

Under the policy, students who need a break from their face mask will be able to take their mask off with teacher permission and as long as social distancing can be maintained, and it's done outside.

Employees can remove their masks if they are alone in their office or classroom or if they're outdoors and maintaining social distancing. While in any common spaces, employees must wear a mask.

While eating, a face covering is not required, but students, teachers and staff must abide by social distancing. 

Masks are not required during physical education classes, recess or other outdoor activities as long as social distancing is in place. Students should wear a cloth mask while going to and from the outdoor location.

Face shields must completely cover the face, wrap around the face and extend below the chin. Students in pre-K through fifth grade as well as students in pre-K through 12th grade who have disabilities will be able to wear a face shield during specific instructional times as long as students are social distancing or if there is a physical barrier such as plexiglass in place. 

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