GATES Co., N.C. - Starting February 15, the Gates County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to make masks optional for staff and students in grades K-12.
The new policy goes into effect immediately with the following stipulations:
- School metrics for COVID cases/quarantines must remain at 5% or under for students and staff.
- If more than 5% of students and staff at a school are quarantined, the school will return to mandatory masks for seven (7) consecutive school days.
- By federal executive order, masks will continue to be mandatory for all students and staff on school buses.
Gates County Schools will continue COVID-19 mitigation strategies and to monitor COVID cases in the school district.
The board says it hopes everyone continues to practice safety measures and strongly encourages anyone who wants to wear a mask to continue to do so.
Staff and parents are also reminded to self-monitor and monitor students for COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms of the virus are present, they are asked not to attend school or to send students to school.
Tuesday, members of the Dare County Board of Education voted to rescind the mask requirement in Dare County Schools, except where masking is federally required.
In Virginia, the state Senate voted Tuesday 29-9 to advance legislation to make masks optional at schools. The legislation would be in line with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order, which has been the subject of several lawsuits.