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Hillsborough County parents can now opt their children out of wearing masks in school

Pasco County Schools

Hillsborough County parents can once again choose to allow their children not wear masks in school.

The Hillsborough County School Board voted on the change during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

On Aug. 18, board members voted to require that students and staff wear masks but allowed exemptions for medical reasons, citing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases and defying Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order that aimed to block student mask mandates by local school districts.

It extended that requirement on Sept. 10.

Tuesday's vote removes the medical opt-out requirement and give parents that choice.

In a press release, the school board cited a significant decrease in the rate of COVID-19 isolations and quarantines over the past seven weeks since the mask mandate first went into effect.

Parents must submit an online form on the school district's web site to opt their children out of wearing masks.

The new policy goes into effect Thursday.

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Carl Lisciandrello