TAMPA, Fla. - Within the few last days, there's been major changes to the CDC guidelines regarding masks. The agency now says vaccinated people do not need to mask up, but students and teachers inside schools should still do so.
For the time being, Hillsborough County Schools is requiring students and staff to continuing masking-up, but that could change. They plan to discuss the CDC guidelines at their meeting this Tuesday, where they will also decide their mask policy for the next school year. As we found, not all students and parents in the Bay Area agree with in-school mask requirements.
"Forcing the children to go eight hours throughout the day wearing a mask that no other adult has to do because they have the ability to get up and take and break from the mask," Manatee County School District parent Ryan Bray said. "Children don't have that option."
Thursday, the CDC released new guidance on mask wearing saying that vaccinated people can stop wearing masks outdoors, in crowds and in most indoor settings. However, Saturday the CDC clarified their mask guidance for schools saying that students and staff should continue wearing masks and social distancing.
"Our school guidance to complete this school year will not change and we'll be working on school guidance for the fall. We are actively working on that now and we're actively doing outreach with the community to do so as well," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said.
Hillsborough County schools sent a letter to parents saying the same rules remain in effect, but that changes could come soon.
Meanwhile, some students and parents in Manatee County are planning to protest the mask rules by having their child go to school without a mask. Bray feels it shouldn't be up to the district to institute mask rules.
"Drop the mask mandate. It's not their responsibility to take care of our children's health. It's the parent's responsibility to take care of our children's health," Bray said.