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Mask mandate may relax in some South Florida schools

FILE- In this Aug. 23, 2021, file photo, Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, center, walks with students Oliver Angel, left, and Ariah Olawale, right, outside of iPrep Academy on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Miami. The on-again, off-again ban imposed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to prevent mandating masks for Florida school students is back in force. The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, that a Tallahassee judge should not have lifted an automatic stay two days ago that halted enforcement of the mask mandate ban. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The mask mandate for students in some South Florida schools could soon be eased as local rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to fall.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho says the number of students being quarantined has dropped significantly since school started.

He says a decision will be based on the latest data and advice from a task force of local doctors.

An easing of the policy would give parents an opt-out provision.

Masks were mandated when the delta variant caused a spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The district joined a handful of others defying orders by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration to let parents decide whether children wore masks.