SARASOTA, Fla. - The superintendent of Sarasota County schools says medical exemption forms for the district's COVID-19 mask policy will only be accepted if they are signed by a licensed medical doctor.
The school board passed a 90-day emergency mask requirement for students and staff on August 20, which came with some stipulations. If the county's COVID-19 positivity rate fell below 8% three days in a row, the requirement would be lifted, unless positivity increased above 10%, at which time the mandate would return.
The positivity rate in Sarasota County was more than 18% at the time of the meeting. As of this writing, the county's seven-day positivity rate was 19%, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The emergency rule also included a medical exemption with a doctor's signature.
Now, school leaders are amending the medical exemption requirements to include only medical doctors licensed under Chapter 458, Florida Statutes; osteopathic physicians licensed under Chapter 459, Florida Statutes; or advanced registered nurse practitioners licensed under Chapter 464, Florida Statutes.
In addition to the updated requirement for medical exemptions, the district released a new form for providers to complete on behalf of any parent whose child requires the exemption.
- Sarasota County Schools mask policy: https://www.sarasotacountyschools.net/cms/lib/FL50000189/Centricity/Domain/1162/Emergency%20Face%20Mask%20Policy%20%20%202021-22.pdf
- Sarasota County Schools medical exemption form English: https://www.sarasotacountyschools.net/cms/lib/FL50000189/Centricity/Domain/1162/COVID-19%20Face%20Covering%20Certification-21.pdf
- Sarasota County Schools medical exemption form Spanish: https://www.sarasotacountyschools.net/cms/lib/FL50000189/Centricity/Domain/1162/COVID-19%20Face%20Covering%20Certification%20Spanish.pdf