Duval County Public Schools Manditory Mask Requirement
On August 23rd, 2021 to Duval County Public Schools voted to implement a mandatory mask requirement for 90 days starting on September 7th, 2021. This was done secondary to the finding that over 1000 cases of COVID-19 occurred within the first 10 days of the school year, during a time when community spread is between 15 and 20%. The providers at Family Allergy and Asthma Consultants support this decision and continue to follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Northeast Florida Pediatric Society.
In accordance with CDC recommendations, we believe the use of masks/cloth facial coverings and vaccines are essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and throughout the community. The use of increased sanitation, improved ventilation and social distancing are also integral to the multi-layered mitigation strategies to keep our kids safe. Given that Duval County Public Schools has removed the parental opt-out option for mask-wearing, we expect that some parents will seek medical exemptions. The following conditions may make masks unsafe for children:
1. Anyone who is physically unable to remove their own masks. (ie: children with quadriplegia, Cerebral Palsy, Limb deformity)
2. Severe behavioral or cognitive delay currently in treatment (ex. severe autism, agitation due to cognitive delay)
3. Structural defects of the head/face/neck (ex. Pierre-Robin sequence) where masks could cause airway obstructions; however, some of these children may be able to wear different types of masks, such as bandana-style coverings.
If your child falls into any of the above described three categories, we ask that you contact your pediatrician for consideration of an exemption letter.
There are NO other blanket exemptions from wearing a face mask. Specifically, anxiety, asthma, allergies and sinus infections are not contraindications for using a face mask.
We thank you for your understanding and hope that you realize that we are all doing what we can to help mitigate the spread this highly contagious virus so that we can slowly return to life as usual. We are all in this together.
The Providers at Family Allergy and Asthma Consultants.