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Leon County Schools issues final COVID-19 protocols

Students K-8 will wear masks in school
Posted at 11:11 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 18:13:01-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Schools' fall semester begins in two days and all students K through 8 will be required to wear masks unless excused by a physician.

After consulting with a top doctor in pediatrics at TMH, LCS is going to require masks for students K-8 starting Wednesday.

This will be in place through the month – with a re-evaluation before Labor Day.

Parents can request a mask waiver, where they can get a doctor to sign off that the child cannot wear a mask because it negatively impacts their physical or mental health.

They have until Friday to get those forms completed.

Superintendent Rocky Hanna asked Governor Ron DeSantis last week to allow required masks for Pre-K through 8th-grade students.

Hanna said he did not hear back from the governor and the time had come to make a decision.

Gov. DeSantis' spokeswoman Christina Pushaw issued the following response statement on behalf of the governor:

With respect to enforcing any financial consequences for non-compliance of state law regarding these rules and ultimately the rights of parents to make decisions about their children's education and health care decisions, it would be the goal of the State Board of Education to narrowly tailor any financial consequences to the offense committed.

For example, the State Board of Education could move to withhold the salary of the district superintendent or school board members, as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law.

Education funding is intended to benefit students first and foremost, not systems. The Governor’s priorities are protecting parents’ rights and ensuring that every student has access to a high-quality education that meets their unique needs.


Last week, the Florida Board of Education passed a rule offering students experiencing "COVID-19 harassment" scholarships to attend private schools. The Health Department also released its new emergency rule Friday saying students can wear masks but the district must offer an opt-out. Non-compliance could mean a reduction of funding, per DeSantis’ executive order.

LCS says last year, 800 in-person learning students caught COVID. However, more than 10,000 of those in-person students were asked to quarantine.

Contact tracers will continue to reach out to anyone possibly exposed to a sick student or employee. Those guidelines are for anyone who spends 15 minutes or more within six feet of someone who has tested positive.

Faculty and staff returning Monday were required to wear a mask when not capable of social distancing indoors.

LCS Quarantine – Exposure Protocol as of 8/9/2021

IF TESTED POSITIVE – Employee or Student

Quarantine protocol when tested positive:

  • 10 days starting from date of symptoms starting OR date of testing with no symptoms. Can return on Day 11.

Contact tracing for identified exposures

  • Once positive case is identified, look back 48 hours from time of test or start of symptoms to include anyone closer than 6’ for more than 15 minutes.

Anyone fully vaccinated or tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days and asymptomatic does not require testing or quarantine.


Employee –

  • If not fully vaccinated, employee should get tested as soon as possible (Rapid or PCR).
    • If test is positive, full quarantine (10 days) will be required.
    • If test is negative and asymptomatic, employee can return immediately with negative test result.

Student –

  • If not fully vaccinated, must quarantine:
    • 7 days from date of exposure if asymptomatic (can return on Day 8) OR
    • 4 days from date of exposure if asymptomatic, can test on Day 5 (Rapid or PCR) and return immediately with a negative result (test must show student name).


Employee –

  • If not fully vaccinated, can test (Rapid or PCR) after the last person in the household is finished with their quarantine. If negative, can return.

Student –

  • If not fully vaccinated, must quarantine until last person in household has finished their quarantine, then:
    • 4 days from date of last exposure, can test on Day 5 (Rapid or PCR) and return immediately with a negative result (test must show student name).

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact their physician for guidance.