MIAMI – Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Wednesday new COVID cases are rising, as experts with Miami-Dade County Public Schools consider requiring teachers, students, and staff to wear face masks during the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.
Given the new evidence on the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people to recommend universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
“We are sadly leading the country in terms of COVID infections mainly driven by the Delta variant, which is more resilient, more transmissible, and more infectious than other variants,” Carvalho said.
A spokesperson for Miami-Dade County Public Schools said Wednesday afternoon that the district will be requiring K-12 students to wear face masks in school buses.
Carvalho also released a statement Tuesday saying he is constantly monitoring the latest developments as the situation evolves.
“Approximately two months ago, based on environmental conditions at the time, we announced that a mask optional protocol would be in place for the upcoming school year,” Carvalho said. “At this time, in light of the recent release of updated guidance from the [CDC], we believe it is prudent to take this conversation back to our task force of medical and public health experts.”
The task force of medical and public health experts will respond quickly before the first day of school on Aug. 23. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also issued an indoor face mask mandate on Wednesday for all County properties.
The School Board of Broward County voted Wednesday afternoon to impose a face mask mandate at Broward County Public Schools. The first day of school for Broward is Aug. 18.
Government entities take on legal liability if they don’t mandate face masks under a CDC recommendation because should an employee or a student die from COVID the entity could be found liable.
Unedited video: Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho
Assignment Desk Manager Kerry Weston contributed to this report.
Correction: The initial report referred to an indoor mandate, but the Miami-Dade County school district was only planning a face mask mandate on public school buses as of Wednesday afternoon.