RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has updated its guidance for masks in schools to go along with Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 209, which removed the outdoor facemask requirement across the state.
According to NCDHHS, masks will not be required for students outside for recess, teachers holding class outdoors, students participating in outdoor physical education classes, students age four that are enrolled in preschool, and a teacher alone in the classroom with the door closed, among other examples.
Masks will be required for students over age five with a teacher inside of a classroom whether or whether not they are six-feet apart, students over age five in indoor physical education classes, regardless of distance, five year olds in preschool, students over age five playing indoors in the gym as part of an after school program, among other examples.
The new guidance applies to schools exercising Plan A or B protocols.
NCDHHS recommends those not fully vaccinated to still wear a mask outdoors when social distance cannot be maintained, or in crowded and densely populated outdoor areas.
Schools are recommended to provide face coverings for staff, other adults and students and to those who arrive at school without a mask.
There is also a recommendation to allow schools to build in “brief moments” when individuals can take short breaks from wearing masks and in settings where risk for transmission is lower such as when outdoors, when air circulation is increased inside by raising windows and when people are consistently six-feet apart.