Dr. Cohen: All NC schools should require masks in K-12


RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – COVID-19 cases are dropping in North Carolina, but how quickly could kids take off masks in schools?

Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Heath and Human Services, Dr. Mandy Cohen, said now is too soon.

“Out on the horizon there are opportunities for us to think about stepping that back, but we’re not close to that yet and we are reiterating that today in our guidance,” Cohen said.

Newly-updated guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services says districts could start looking at optional masks when a county reaches CDC-defined moderate or low COVID spread.

“But that is not where our school districts are overall,” Cohen said.

Statewide, there are only two counties that meet that description and none are in central North Carolina.

Some of the larger districts in central North Carolina mandating masks inside include Wake, Durham, Orange, Johnston and Cumberland county schools.

Each individual school district still has the option to revisit its mask policies monthly.

“I think schools need to be keeping their mask mandates right now, that is not something to reconsider,” Cohen said. “That is the guidance we were given. I know that school boards are looking at this month over month and we want to make sure that they know that they really need to be keeping that mask mandate. “

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