During a press conference on Monday, September 28, 2021, Leon County School Superintendent Rocky Hanna addressed a change in COVID protocols and commented on actions taken by Governor DeSantis.
“I find it very disturbing that our governor has no intention of respecting the separation of power, which serves as the foundation of our democratic society,” Hanna, the former civics teacher, stated. He contended that the governor’s actions are reckless.
These remarks come after Hanna and the LCSB received a letter from the Department of Education demanding LCS comply with the state’s ban on mask mandates. Furthermore, the Department of Education released a new emergency rule allowing parents to decide whether their asymptomatic children should quarantine or go to school after being exposed to someone positive for COVID-19.
Based on these new rules, Hanna said during the press conference that students will be required to wear a mask after possible exposure to a COVID-19 positive case, but they will not have to quarantine. However, students who refuse to wear masks will have to stay for seven days.
The original quarantine rules resulted in a number of students to miss school even though they never tested positive. For example, Assistant Superintendent Alan Cox reported that he sampled cases from 15 schools from September 6 to September 17 and found that 659 student were under quarantine during that time and only 9 of them tested positive.
Students who test positive can return to school after ten days have passed or if they show PCR negative test.
Hanna further stated that the mask requirements for kindergarten through eighth-grade students will remain in effect through at least the end of October. After that, if the positivity rate is low, he hopes to make masks entirely optional.