School, health officials meet to discuss next school year in Palm Beach County

'Whatever moves our country to a safer space to reopen,' parent says
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Posted at 10:42 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 08:29:06-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — School and health leaders got together Thursday night to focus on what's next for Palm Beach County schools.

Members of the School District of Palm Beach Count met with the district's Health Advisory Committee virtually. Among the discussions was optional face masks for next fall.

Palm Beach County Health Director Dr. Alina Alonzo weighed in on the issue.

"At least in terms of the schools, you are going to have to be in an environment where you're going to have a lot more people taken out for quarantine if they are not vaccinated," she said. "We will know who is vaccinated through the health department."

During the meeting, it was made clear that the district does not have enough nurses to cover all summer school sites. So rapid testing, which has been ongoing in the district, will stop during summer school.

RELATED: Palm Beach County parents protest school district's mask policy

For next fall, Alonzo expressed concerns over optional mask-wearing.

"I would recommend we use the 5% positivity rate," she said.

The group spent considerable time on the issue of social distancing. Board member Dr. Debra Robinson said things will be tricky next school year.

"We are having a hard enough time with 6 feet with the current number of students," she said. "With students coming back, I'm hoping we can maintain 3 feet."

Parents said priority No. 1 is the safety of the students.

"I would like to see the children still wear their masks," Karen Chilfolo said.

Megan Bivins said the district has to move forward.

"Whatever moves our country to a safer space to reopen," she said.