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How well do some Tampa Bay area schools reopening plans line up with CDC guidelines?

The CDC has released guidelines for how schools can reopen safely. We compared them to three districts.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — More deadlines are approaching for some students in Tampa Bay.

The cutoff to choose in-person learning or online learning is tomorrow, Monday, July 27, for Pinellas, Polk, and Hernando counties.

These districts have plans for reopening safely, but how closely do they compare to the CDC's recommendations?

One thing that seems to be a standard for all three districts: masks.

The CDC recommends them, and Pinellas, Polk, and Hernando are all requiring them.

Hernando is one of the only districts that has also outlined what will happen each time a student is not wearing a mask and how enforcement will work.

The CDC also recommends modifying school layouts, including on busses. 

Pinellas County says that distancing on buses might not be possible, and is, therefore, requiring masks when riding.

When it comes to screening employees and students, the CDC says schools should take precautions like checking temperatures whenever possible. 

In Polk, there will not be regular temperature checks, but students and staff will be trained to look out for COVID-19 symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, chills, and more.

And when there is a case of the coronavirus in the school, the CDC says everyone who has been in close contact with that person should stay home for two weeks. 

In Pinellas, the Department of Health will decide what steps to take and who to quarantine.

The end result: No county's plan is the same, as expected. Each plan contains slight variations that leave parents across the Bay area with the tough choice of choosing what is best for them and their students this fall.

RELATED: CDC releases 'Decision-Making Tool' for parents in school reopening guidance

RELATED: 10 frequently-asked questions about reopening Tampa Bay schools from coronavirus closures

RELATED: Here are the reopening plans for Tampa Bay school districts

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