- PCS Newsroom
Pinellas County Schools has announced plans to end its face coverings requirement at the end of the school year
May 4, 2021
Pinellas County Schools has announced plans to rescind its School Board policy requiring face coverings in schools and district facilities at the end of the school year. All health and safety protocols, including face coverings, will continue through 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 9.
At this time, we are strongly encouraging the use of masks for Summer Bridge programs, but we are not planning to require them for Summer Bridge because of the trending medical data and the decreased number of students in each school during the summer. However, we will continue to monitor conditions, and, if necessary, we may put another face covering policy in place during Summer Bridge or next school year.
“I am incredibly proud of the work our staff, students, families and School Board have done during this global pandemic,” said Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego. “The school district has worked closely with its medical advisory group throughout the last 14 months to create, review and update health and safety protocols based on the latest scientific data. Due to the commitment and cooperation of all involved, we have been able to successfully have a healthy, productive and meaningful school year.”
By maintaining all health and safety protocols through the end of the school year, the school district is ensuring that all staff who wish to receive a vaccine have the opportunity to do so and is continuing the protocols parents considered when choosing a learning option for the spring semester. Currently 80% of students attend school in-person.
Pinellas County Schools enlisted the assistance of infectious disease and pediatric specialists from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, BayCare, Community Health Centers of Pinellas, Inc. and the Florida Department of Health-Pinellas when the pandemic first began in spring 2020. Doctors toured schools, provided operational guidance for the district’s reopening plan and provided Pinellas County Schools teachers, nurses and other employees access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. The group has continued to be actively engaged throughout the school year and will remain a key partner in future planning.
All health and safety protocols, including the use of face coverings, will remain in place through the end of the current school year. The district will continue to monitor COVID-19 conditions and will respond as needed.