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Archdiocese of Miami makes face masks optional for unvaccinated students


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Zelda Caldwell - published on 12/01/21

Transmission rates of COVID-10 has remained low in Florida, even after the state allowed public school students to opt out of the mask requirement in early November.

Students at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Miami will no longer have to wear face masks, whether they are vaccinated or not, reported the Associated Press.

The Archdiocese announced on Tuesday that they made the decision based on the advice of physicians, data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Miami-Dade County Department of Health.

New cases of COVID-10 have been steadily declining in the state of Florida, and according to recent data, the new case positivity rate is at 2.4%. Dade County’s new positivity rate is at 1.6%.

According to the CDC, “low” transmission is considered no more than 10 cases per 100,000 people, or a test positivity rate of less than 5%.

“We felt this was the time to live up to what we said all along — that we will study the data and go along with it,” Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, told the Miami Herald.

The Archdiocese already allowed students and teachers to opt out of wearing face masks if they provided proof of vaccination.

In early November public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties allowed all students to attend school without masks.

The Archdiocese will continue to monitor transmission rates, and consider reinstating mask requirements if advised to do so.

“The No. 1 priority is the safety of our children and staff,” Agosta said. “Hopefully we don’t see another outbreak of any variant that comes through and this will be a happy time for everybody in schools.”

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