Mask mandates back in effect at many central NC county, city buildings

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A number of mask mandates are now in effect at city and county buildings throughout central North Carolina.

Starting Monday, Wake County is requiring face masks in all government buildings. The cities of Raleigh and Fayetteville, along with the towns of Garner and Wake Forest, are also requiring staff and visitors to wear masks in city buildings beginning today.

These new mandates are in addition to ones already enacted last week inside all county buildings in Cumberland and Durham counties.

Chatham County told CBS 17 last week they are not contemplating reinstating indoor mask requirements at this time. They did not give an explanation for the decision.

Johnston County officials told CBS 17 last week that they would wait for guidance from Gov. Roy Cooper before making any changes to mask policies.

Last Thursday, Cooper signed a new executive order that does not mandate state employees get vaccinated but Cabinet-level agencies will have to verify if state employees have been vaccinated. Beginning Sept. 1, those who haven’t been vaccinated will need to submit to COVID-19 testing at least weekly and wear a mask.

Johnston County has not made any changes since the governor’s new guidance was announced.

The Department of Health and Human Services is taking one step further beyond what Cooper ordered by mandating that employees, volunteers, students, trainees, contractors and temporary workers in state-operated healthcare facilities be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

As for schools, mask policies can vary from district to district and are not necessarily tied to policies at the county or city level. Families should check their district’s latest COVID-19 protocols to determine the policy at their child’s school.

Durham Public Schools previously announced that all year-round students and staff are required to wear masks at school regardless of vaccination status. The DPS Board of Education will review its mask requirements later this month.

According to the Wake County Public School System’s website, everyone age 5 and older is required to wear a mask “when indoors at schools, preschools, and on school or vendor transportation on days when students are in the building,” according to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services policies.

Wake County Schools will review its mask policy on Tuesday night.

Harnett County Schools will discuss masks at tonight’s school board meeting.

As for colleges and universities in central North Carolina, some schools such as Duke University and Shaw University are requiring students to provide proof of vaccination before beginning the fall semester.

Campbell University is bringing its mask mandate back on Monday. Wake Tech announced Tuesday morning that masks will now be required while inside any building on campus.

The UNC system is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to get the vaccine but not requiring it. Every university in the Triangle within the UNC System will require masks to be worn by everyone to some degree this fall semester.

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