Tuesday, July 23, 2024

NHCS drops mask mandate, effective Friday

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — New Hanover County Schools is ending its mask mandate, effective this Friday.

In light of forthcoming changes to the state’s StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit, the board of education met virtually Wednesday afternoon and voted unanimously on the matter.

Starting Monday, new statewide guidance will no longer require students and staff to stay home from school following a Covid-19 exposure, unless they are experiencing symptoms or test positive for the virus. Previously, quarantine was required if masks weren’t worn in the classroom setting.

There was some disagreement on the day the optional policy went into effect. Board chair Stephanie Kraybill and board member Judy Justice preferred a Monday start, the day the new toolkit guidance kicks in. Still, they agreed to go mask optional starting Friday.

“I just think it would be very beneficial to go ahead and have one day of mask optional this week,” board member Pete Wildeboer said. “One day’s not gonna make a whole bunch of difference between the 18th and 21st.”

Masks are still required on buses, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is also still a federal mandate in effect for the Headstart programs, which are housed at the Johnson Pre-K Center.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at alexandria@localdailymedia.com or on Twitter @alexsands_

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