Hillsborough County Public Schools will require face coverings when school resumes, Aug. 10.
Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Addison Davis made the announcement on July 7.
In a video posted the same day on the district’s website, Davis elaborated on his decision.
Each staff member will receive three reusable masks when they return for pre-planning and each student will receive three reusable masks on Day 1 of the new school year.
“I spent the last few days speaking with medical professionals from the University of South Florida, Tampa General Hospitals, teachers, school administrators, business leaders and local department of health to help guide our decisions around protocols that affect the safety of our entire district.
“We all can agree that the safety and health of our students, teachers, staff and this community are paramount to the reopening of our schools,” he said.
“The CDC has identified face coverings as one of the most effective tools in stopping the spread of COVID-19, along with social distancing, handwashing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces,” he said.
Davis said that he’s said from the beginning that the district’s reopening plan is fluid and that the district will continue to make adjustments as it continues to monitor the spread of the coronavirus within the community.
“I believe that requiring face coverings is the best option we have in providing an additional layer of protection for everyone on our campuses,” he said.
In total, the district will have more than 760,000 masks through purchases and donations from the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center and community partners, such as Humana and AVID.
“The spread of the coronavirus in our community has shown no sign of decreasing over the past three weeks,” he said.
“We have to do everything we can to keep our students, our staff and our families safe and healthy,” he said.
Meanwhile, parents of Hillsborough County students have until July 17 to indicate their declaration of intent for their preferred way of learning for their student in the new school year. Options include instruction at brick-and-mortar buildings, structured online learning, or self-paced virtual learning. Another potential option is a hybrid approach, which combines face-to-face instruction and online learning. There’s also an option for online learning only, if the district is required to close its campuses due to COVID-19.
To get more details, visit the district’s website at SDHC.k12.fl.us.
Published July 15, 2020