By: Summer Livengood
During the pandemic, Florida required that masks be worn unless your parents had a signed form saying they don’t have to. On August 12th of this year, school started once again at Key West High School (KWHS), with some students walking into the halls wearing masks and some not wearing masks. The school board voted that masks are optional and that mandatory masking is suspended from now on.
There are over 500 students in Key West High School, and about half of the students have taken advantage of this optional mask rule and have taken their masks off for good. For the past 3 months, the changes in our school have been great with schools changing their mandates and getting rid of close contact tracing. Close contact tracing was knocking kids out of class, making students miss days and even weeks of school to find that they don’t have covid. However, if you are found with some symptoms of covid after being traced to someone who had it, you will have to quarantine immediately.
In their decision, they did have to look at the research by checking covid case numbers and how many students wear and don’t wear masks in case of their parents signing the papers saying they don’t have to wear masks. They stated that there will be research making sure numbers don’t start rising due to the suspension. In all, if people stay safe and there are no high-rise cases then we can keep the mask mandate suspended.
Coming to school sick isn’t safe for others, your little sniffle or cough can progress into Covid, making you a carrier and a spreader. If you show any signs of sickness please stay home so that the masks can stay optional. The mask optional mandate has only been in action for less than two weeks, but more students by day are still getting covid. Some teachers and students are protesting to re implement the mandatory mask mandate, while others are fighting to keep it optional.