ISSUE 1: Mask Mandate News Brief

Chamfay Estrada, Journalism 1 Student

At the Oct. 5 meeting, the Hillsborough County School Board decided that masks would no longer be mandatory.

After considering the most recent COVID cases and the rate of isolations and quarantines of all staff and students over the past seven weeks, Hillsborough County School Board members decided that the rates and amount of cases have decreased since the most recent face covering mandate. This resulted in the removal of the medical exemption opt-out requirement of the face-covering mandate, allowing for parents to opt-out on masks without any medical documentation required.

There had been quite a mixed reaction on this topic.

“I support this mandate because we already do so much together without our masks, like eating lunch, playing sports, and we even see some of these people outside of school on the regular,” Ariana Milsaps (’25) said. “So, I think that being given the option to wear them or to not wear them will satisfy everyone and meet their needs. The mandate will allow the people who are still a little worried to wear a mask, and the others to kind of just do their own thing. I think this new mandate is a great compromise.”

Whereas, some students wished the mandate stayed with only the medical opt-out.

“I don’t support the new mask mandate,” Kennedi Kleisinger (’25) said. “I think we should all wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID and keep everyone safe.”

Journalism 1 student Addison Kim contributed to this article.