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CDC recommends masks in schools this fall, regardless of vaccination status

“Children should return to in-person instruction in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As the delta variant continues to spread, the CDC has come forth with new guidelines, which may affect the upcoming school year. 

The CDC is recommending everyone in K-12 schools wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

“Children should return to in-person instruction in the fall with proper prevention strategies in place,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

Agata Gardner, a mother of two elementary-aged children, started a petition Monday night urging Duval County Public Schools to require masks for the upcoming school year.

RELATED: Online petition calling for mask mandate in Duval County Public Schools receives hundreds of signatures

Hundreds of parents signed in less than 24 hours.

“This will protect our children,” Gardner said,  “They’re the most vulnerable group right now. The only group that can’t get vaccinated. So it just makes sense.”

Since the CDC’s announcement, DCPS told First Coast News: 

“The district is in consultation with the Florida Department of Health- Duval this week to review the new guidance from the CDC and discuss health and safety guidelines going into the new school year.”

Both Clay County and St. Johns County Schools say at this time, they have not changed the protocols put in place for this school year, which makes masks optional.

Gardner’s son Ira and daughter Cedine agree with their mom, hoping to keep the masks for at least one more semester.

“It helps protect me and other people,” 7-year-old Ira said.

RELATED: CDC says fully vaccinated adults, children should wear masks in areas of high transmission