Counties decide future of masks as more children are vaccinated

ORLANDO, Fla. – As many places continue to reevaluate mask policies, local school districts are also making decisions on what classrooms will look like in the upcoming school year.

Schools have already faced pressure regarding mask requirements, but it’s been increased in the last week after children as young as 12 became eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

Brevard County’s school board held a special meeting Friday morning to discuss masks, a topic that has been heated among parents who have already called on the district to get rid of the requirement for this school year.

Prior to this meeting, Marion County’s school board unanimously voted to make masks optional for summer classes as the district considered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. While this decision stands for summer, the school board will have to make a decision on the upcoming school year, which the school district says will be discussed in the coming weeks.

As more children and adults are vaccinated, it is still being determined how long the protection will last. A Florida lab is offering an antibody test to help determine how protected people are from COVID-19.

Florida reported Thursday that 9,813,737 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. New data is showing that there is a distinct difference in vaccination rates in the Northeast compared to the South. According to the Associated Press, higher vaccination rates are being seen in the Northeast while lowest ones are in the South.

If you still have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, News 6 is offering another chance for you to have your questions answered by doctors and medical professionals during a phone bank Friday afternoon. The phone lines will open at 4 p.m. and calls will be answered through 7:30 p.m. by AdventHealth staff.

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