CURRITUCK Co., N.C. - Students in Currituck County will now have to wear masks in the classroom for the upcoming school year.
During an emergency meeting on August 21, the Currituck County Board of Education reversed course and unanimously voted to approve updated face covering policies and procedures.
This mandate will go into effect starting Monday, August 30.
The emergency meeting was to discuss local implementation of the Strongschools NC Public Health Toolkit for the 2021-2022 academic year. During the meeting, board members were presented with information about the current quarantine guidelines, which state that anyone who is not wearing a face covering must quarantine for a minimum of five days and up to 14 days or more when identified as a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case.
While the positive COVID-19 case numbers for Currituck County Schools remain low, the school district says the number of staff and students required to be in quarantine are rising. School officials say "with each positive case, the number of identified, unmasked 'close contacts' begins to increase exponentially."
For the week of August 23, school officials say the current Positive COVID Cases for Students is 11, resulting in more than 140 quarantines.
Beginning Monday, the following guidelines will apply:
- Face coverings are required for staff and students indoors.
- Face coverings continue to be required for staff and students on school buses.
- Face coverings are not required outdoors during the school day where social distancing can be maintained.
The board assured parents that their concerns were heard and said while this was a "difficult decision," the updated guidelines will eliminate the need for many restrictive measures during the school day and will allow for in-person instruction.