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What are the medical exemptions for masks when students return to school?

10 Tampa Bay asked each district the rules about mask exemptions when students return to school.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — When students return to school, there are mask requirements. But are there exemptions? We reached out to all of our districts to get the rules on mask exemptions. 


To be medically exempt from wearing a face covering, a student will need to provide a note from their doctor on the medical practice's letterhead. Age or grade exemptions may be established by the school district, based on advice from the Polk County Health Department. A doctor's note will not be required in those cases. All students who fall within the recommended age/grade categories will automatically be exempted from wearing a face covering. More guidance will be issued when it is available.


Individuals (students or staff) who have a medical condition that does not allow for wearing a mask must provide medical documentation.


There are exemptions related to specific content such as phonics, specific student needs such as deaf and hard of hearing, and medical conditions that may cause an impairment due to an existing health condition. *Working on our guidance for when we return to school. 


Parents seeking a medical exemption for their student must provide documentation, completed by a physician. 

The "Authorization for Administration of Prescribed Medical/Treatment" form must specify the Medical medical reason for the exemption. Exemption • The form must be provided to the Principal or designee.• Once medical documentation is received, clinic staff will add student name to the medical exemption roster. • A Mask Pass will be issued to the student. The Mask Pass will be available to show a staff member upon request. Student must carry the Mask Pass at all times on their person.*While parent seeks medical exemption, the student will be enrolled in Digital Home Learning until medical documentation is received by school staff. Students who do not qualify for a medical exemption but who wish to claim an exemption based upon religious consideration will be contacted by school staff for assistance in enrolling in one of the virtual learning options. 


The Board asked for revisions to be made to the existing face coverings policy that was proposed. Changes include types of face coverings as well as additional non-medically related exemptions. 


Medical Certification: A face covering shall not be required for persons who present school officials with a certification from a health care provider that the person has a medical, physical or psychological contraindication that prevents the person from being able to safely wear a face covering.


Medical conditions and IEPs will be addressed individually when it comes to face masks or shield coverings. Please contact your child’s school for more information. 


There are certain medical conditions for which wearing a face covering is contraindicated. All requests for reasonable accommodation from the requirement to wear a face mask will be considered in accordance with the District’s policies and procedures as well as all applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. and/or any other applicable federal, state or local law.

  • Employees who have an underlying medical condition that impacts their ability to wear a face covering should contact his/her worksite supervisor or the Office of Employee Relations to request an accommodation. Medical documentation will be required for a reasonable accommodation that would exempt an employee from wearing a face covering to be granted.
  • Students with a medical condition that impacts their ability to wear a mask should address the request with his/her individual school. A doctor’s note will be required.  


Students and adults will not be required to wear masks or cloth face coverings, but they are certainly allowed and encouraged. 

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