ST JOHNS, Fla. — A new petition on Change.org is urging the St. Johns County School District to implement a mask mandate for all students, teachers and faculty regardless of their vaccination status.
The district's policy remains that masks will be optional for the upcoming school year.
The petition cites the revised CDC guidelines concerning schools as well as the continued spread of COVID-19 in the county and state.
By the end of last week, there were more than 110,000 new cases of COVID-19 with a positivity rate of over 18%, according to state statistics.
In St. Johns County alone, there were 1,631 new cases of COVID-19 last week with a positivity rate of 23.8%, statistics say.
"How are we as a school district ignoring our current community conditions and recommendations by national and local health experts?" the petition asks. "How can we keep our students who are under 12, and don't have a choice for vaccination, safe?"
While the petition urges masks and other protections for students, it also says that children should do in-person learning as well.
"Please implement mandatory masks for anyone in a St. John's County school for the 2021-2022 school year," the petition closes. "We need to protect our students and community."
As of Monday afternoon, the petition has 484 signatures.
St. Johns County's neighborhood Duval County Public Schools announced lasted week they would require teachers and staff only to wear masks for 30 days.