Masks for Clay Students and School Staff

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Masks for Clay Students and School Staff

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Britney Beech started this petition to Clay County Board of Education

Clay County School Board Members and Superintendent Broskie,

Due to the extremely high rates of transmission and the current guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control, we ask for the board to put in place a mask mandate for all students, staff and visitors immediately. Our local hospitals are seeing the highest number of admitted COVID-19 patients to date. With no vaccine available for children under the age of 12 and the continued spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, the risk of getting and transmitting the virus is much greater today than it was last fall. 

The experts and an overwhelming majority of pediatricians agree that universal masking greatly reduces the chances of infection. We've learned that public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. (Source: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/4/e2014564118) The CDC cites 98 different studies to support its guidance of preventative measures in schools, including universal masking. Two case studies cited indicate that "inconsistent mask use may have contributed to school-based outbreaks last school year." The CDC summarizes the data supporting the efficacy of masking in schools: "The preponderance of the available evidence from United States schools indicates that even when students were placed less than 6 feet apart in classrooms, there was limited SARS-CoV-2 transmission when other layered prevention strategies were consistently maintained; notably, masking and student cohorts." (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/transmission_k_12_schools.html)

We are also learning that while most children recover from COVID infections just fine, there is a growing body of research that points to long-haul COVID-19 symptoms in children who had mild cases initially. Evidence from the first study of “long covid” in children suggests that more than half of children between the ages of 6 and 16 who contract the virus have at least one symptom lasting more than four months, with 43 percent impaired by these symptoms during daily activities. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927578/)

Ten other Florida school districts have implemented a mask mandate. Furthermore, as of today, August 27, 2021, Circuit Judge John Cooper announced that Florida law does not allow the state to enforce a ban on mask mandates against school districts that have implemented them to fight Covid-19. He ruled that Gov. DeSantis and the Board of Education's actions on masks is without legal authority and is by definition "arbitrary" and "capricious".

(Source: https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/2021/08/27/judge-rules-on-floridas-ban-on-school-mask-mandates/)

You have worked hard to keep our children safe to date. We request you continue to do the same in the face of this extremely unpredictable virus.

Thank  you,

Parents of Clay County Students

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