Masks required at Pasco schools for remainder of year

LAND O' LAKES – The Pasco County School District announced on its Facebook page Monday that masks will be required on campuses and office buildings for the remainder of the school year.

The post added that district officials "remain optimistic" that the mask mandate will be lifted by the start of the 2021-2022 school year in the fall.

Below is the district's full statement on Facebook, posted at 2:03 p.m.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, for the remainder of the school year we will continue to require that students, staff, and visitors wear masks on our campuses and in our office buildings.
 
As a school district, we have worked together to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, and masks have played a large role in that effort. We remain optimistic that masks will no longer be necessary in the fall, and are making plans for a much more normal 2021-22 school year.
 
Let’s finish the school year strong and healthy, and come back next year stronger than ever.
 
The current school year ends for students on Wednesday, May 26. Next school year begins Aug. 10.
 
Since schools reopened Aug. 24, 2020, Pasco Schools has provided COVID-related updates on its website. As of 4:30 p.m., Monday, 26 new student COVID cases and two new staff cases were reported. A total of 2,434 students and 894 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 this year. Those positive tests have impacted 29,634 students and 2,098 staff members.
 
On Monday, April 5, Pasco County announced that it was rescinding its countywide mask mandate, which only affected buildings and offices under the authority of the county. Hours after the county's announcement, the school district sent out its own press release stating that masks will still be required on campuses and district offices "for the time being."