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Orange County Public School employees, volunteers, visitors required to wear a mask

Barbara Jenkins. Photo: Danielle Prieur
Barbara Jenkins. Photo: Danielle Prieur

Orange County public school employees will be required to wear masks while inside district facilities and vehicles beginning Friday.

About 209,000 students are expected Tuesday for the first day of public school in Orange County.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases are reaching all-time highs.

In a statement on Youtube, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins is "strongly encouraging" students to wear a mask at school. But under the governor's recent executive order, she cannot mandate it.

She's doing what she can, requiring the district's 24,000 employees to wear a mask inside school facilities and vehicles and in the presence of others at work.

"All visitors entering buildings, including volunteers, vendors, parents and guardians will also be required to wear a mask," she said. "This extra layer of mitigation will provide some protection to employees and students as we continue to monitor community trends."

The requirement will be in place for 30 days.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.