County’s lifting of mask requirements doesn’t change school district’s stance
Pasco Schools will continue to require masks for all staff, students, and visitors on school campuses and in district offices for the time being, despite today’s announcement that the county is rescinding the countywide mask mandate. The county’s announcement today only affects buildings and offices under the authority of the county.
“I cannot in good conscience abandon our health and safety protocols at this time,” said Kurt Browning, superintendent of Pasco Schools. “Our protocols have helped to prevent, and certainly reduce, the spread of COVID-19 among our students and staff.”
Superintendent Browning added that students and staff have adapted well to the district’s established protocols, which include the wearing of masks and social distancing when appropriate. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend the wearing of masks in settings such as schools, and the state of Florida remains under an emergency order until April 26, unless the order is extended once again by the Governor.
The number of reported positive cases of COVID-19 among Pasco students and staff has decreased significantly since January. Though the district experienced an increase in March, which likely was related to Spring Break, the recent increases were well below the number of positive cases reported earlier in the year.
The superintendent asks parents, students, and staff to be patient and vigilant as we near the end of the school year, and expressed optimism that when teachers and students return in the fall masks will no longer be required.