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Doctors Say Mask Mandate Is Working As School Case Counts Slow

Members of the Duval Schools Pandemic Solutions Team rally for a mask mandate ahead of Tuesday night's Duval County Public Schools Board meeting.
Marla Bryant
Duval Schools Pandemic Solutions Team

The number of new COVID-19 cases reported within Duval County Public Schools has tapered off significantly within the last week. Doctors say it's an indicator that the school district's stricter mask mandate is working. 

The 2021-22 school year started off with a mask requirement that students' families could easily opt-out of online. About 10 percent of the student population or 12,500 students opted out within weeks of the school year. Cases of the coronavirus on campus quickly multiplied, though the district isn't tracking masked versus un-masked cases. 

Effective Sept. 7, Duval Schools' policy was strengthened to only allow medical opt-outs. Less than one percent of the student body had opted out under the new policy as of last week. 

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