MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – After Miami-Dade County’s COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to one percent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools changed their mask mandate, offering the choice of opting-out. However, many students are still choosing to wear masks at school.
Citing a decrease in COVID-19 infections, Miami-Dade County Public Schools is following Broward County Public Schools’ lead in easing coronavirus restrictions.
Beginning Tuesday, wearing masks is optional for students at Miami-Dade’s traditional middle schools and high schools, as long as they bring a signed parental opt-out form.
“I think I’m going to keep my mask on most of the time, but it’s a good option for people who think they’re safe to be like this or not have the mask at all,” said Giovanni Navarrete, a senior at North Miami Senior High School.
On Monday, public high school students in Broward County had the option of leaving their faces exposed.
Despite the looser protocols, the majority of students Local 10 saw heading into North Miami Senior High School Tuesday morning chose to keep their faces covered.
“I feel like it should have stayed mandatory because now kids are going to have their masks down and then maybe schools might get shut down because of an increase of COVID rates,” said Manius Joseph, a sophomore at North Miami Senior High School.
“I’m very surprised they decided to change the policy. Very surprised,” said Cinthia Garcia, a parent of a North Miami Senior High School student.
Garcia spent eight days in the hospital in 2020 with COVID-19 and has no plans of signing the parental opt-out form for her 11th-grade daughter.
“I want her to wear the mask, I do, especially for her safety, my parents’ safety, my son’s safety, because my son is asthmatic and I don’t want nothing to happen to him,” she explained.
Students at elementary schools and K-8 centers in Miami-Dade County are still required to wear a mask.