Washington D.C., Aug 4, 2021 / 16:00 pm
Masks will now be optional at Catholic schools in the Diocese of St. Augustine this upcoming school year, as the diocese on July 30 scrapped its mask mandate due to a state order.
A July 30 letter from Deacon Scott Conway, the superintendent of schools for the diocese, stated that Gov. Ron Desantis’ (R) Executive Order (21-175) Ensuring the Parents’ Freedom to Choose -- Masks In Schools “gives some clear guidance to schools about students and masks.”
“After careful review of the Executive Order and consultation with our advisors, the bishop has approved the following update to our policies for the schools of the Diocese of St. Augustine,” he continued.
Masks, said Conway, would be optional for students but still “[h]ighly recommended during this time of high COVID positivity rate.” All visitors to the district’s schools will be required to wear masks. Vaccinations will still be optional but “highly encouraged,” said Conway, adding that any cases of COVID-19 at schools would be reported to both Florida health authorities as well as to families of students.