TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Pointing to COVID-19 infection rates, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners will administer the state Bar exam online in February.

An announcement of the decision Wednesday came after the exam was administered online in October following two controversial delays.

The February administration will take place on Feb. 23 and Feb. 24. In a news release, the board said that based on the current upward trend of COVID-19 infection rates and uncertainty about the future trend, “any plans to have an in-person administration in February 2021 would have been at risk of cancellation depending on the pandemic conditions in early 2021.”

The board said it successfully administered the exam online to 3,137 applicants on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14. But that came after it called off an in-person July exam after graduates, law school professors, and legislators argued that holding the test in person would be contrary to health officials’ social-distancing recommendations and would pose a danger to test-takers with underlying medical conditions who have higher risks of complications from COVID-19.

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The board rescheduled the exam for Aug. 19 and said it would be held online. Three days before the scheduled exam, however, the board called it off, pointing to software problems.

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