Earlier this fall, the Sarasota County School Board extended its emergency mask policy, implementing a new rule that would maintain the mask mandate for the entire school year.
The district began with a 90-day temporary mask policy that was set to expire in November. Under the new rule, all students and staff will be required to wear masks at school for the entire school year, except for people who have rare medical conditions.
According to local health officials, masks and social distancing helped drive down the infection rate after summer spikes in the region, and that given the lack of any kind of finish line for the pandemic within site, extending the policy throughout the rest of the school year would be a sensible decision to protect the health of students and staff.
When asked when masks would no longer be necessary, public health officials emphasized the impossible-to-predict nature of the virus and the science surrounding it. They said it could be quite likely that the region will not reach a zero percent transmission rate until there is a vaccine available. It may take two to five years for that transmission rate to get to zero, according to experts, though CDC policies do not require the infection rate to get down to zero before mask mandates can be relaxed.
Liability issues in schools
During the pandemic, school districts may face potential liability issues surrounding virus transmission if they do not take proper steps with mask usage and distancing requirements.
If you have a child who becomes infected with the virus due to improper safety protocols or shirking of those protocols in school, you may be able to file a claim against the district seeking compensation. For more information about how to proceed with your case, contact an experienced Bradenton, FL personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.