Pinellas County Officials say now 2,757 student and staff members are in quarantine or isolation and the group called Pinellas Safe Schools doesn’t want that number to increase.By Casey Albritton

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – One local group of parents are asking Pinellas County to implement a mask mandate for students and staff. This comes less than a week after Hillsborough County Schools implemented their mask mandate with a strict opt-out policy.

Pinellas County Officials say now 2,757 student and staff members are in quarantine or isolation and the group called Pinellas Safe Schools doesn’t want that number to increase.

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Chrissy Krampert, is an organizer with Pinellas Safe Schools and says “We are asking for an immediate mask mandate for all faculty, staff and students for 60 days and for timely and transparent quarantine notifications.”

Krampert says after seeing the number of people who are in quarantine or isolation in the district and the number of people testing positive in the county, something needs to change.

“We no longer have social distance because everyone is back at school, we no longer have masks that a protecting students or teachers,” said Krampert.

Her group says they don’t want the mask mandate for the while year just for two months.

“We have to do it now because the Delta variant is stalking our hallways, our numbers are high,” said Krampert.

The district says 2,343 students and 412 staff members are in quarantine or isolation.

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“I assume the school board feels under pressure because of the executive order but many counties are following suit and making sure we are protecting our students,” said Krampert.

Krampert says the lack of a mask mandate won’t only impact schools.

“Our tourism industry has taken a hit and will likely take another one if all of a sudden it’s not safe to visit Pinellas County. Or if we don’t have workers to keep doors open. The worst thing I could think of happening is a parent having to make a choice between their job or their sick child,” said Krampert.

Krampert says she does support an opt-out option, only if the students has a doctor’s note.

“I understand that parents want to opt-out and different viewpoints, but we’ve done all the work to keep out kids in schools and it worked last year. We can do this a little bit longer,” said Krampert.

Krampert and several members of the Pinellas Safe Schools group will be going to the Pinellas County School Board meeting on Tuesday to voice their concerns.

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The Pinellas County School Board meeting begins Tuesday at 10 a.m.