PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — COVID-19 cases are continuing to decrease at Bay District Schools despite an optional mask policy and new quarantine rules.

Students who are exposed to the virus but don’t develop symptoms any longer have to quarantine. Since that state rule went into effect on Sept. 22, the district has seen 60% fewer cases among students and 64% fewer cases with staff members.

District officials are hopeful that cases continue to decline and warn that parents should continue to stay aware of symptoms.

“Now that we have the numbers back we’ve had an opportunity to take a look at the data and it really reinforces the decision to make masks optional, and to keep them optional for our students and our teachers. So that was some really positive news today,” said Bay District School Board Chairman Steve Moss.

School officials say they do not expect to hold another vote about reinforcing a mask mandate as long as COVID numbers stay low.