Schools don’t need to get vaccinated masks if transmission of coronavirus is low enough :: WRAL.com

Schools will no longer need masks for vaccinated individuals if the spread of the coronavirus in their communities is low enough, North Carolina health officials wrote in guiding document Posted this week.

Only two counties currently meet the “moderate” or “low” prevalence threshold — Hyde County on the coast and Cherokee County in the mountains — with the rest of the state’s counties continuing to have “high” or “significant” transmission rates.

The document updated by DHHS is dated October 25, but the agency has not updated it StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit, which is dated Oct 5 and still recommends blanket concealment in all schools.

Prior to the update, schools could have made masks optional, but the vast majority of schools chose not to do so while cases were on the rise due to the virus delta variant. Board members also noted the potential for large numbers of quarantines if people did not wear masks. Unvaccinated people are exempt from quarantine if they are exposed while wearing a mask by someone who was also wearing a mask.

“Because our students are largely unvaccinated yet, face coverings remain an important tool to protect and keep children safe in the classroom,” the DHHS document says. “The NCDHHS recommends that schools base their mask requirements on community transmission levels, as defined by the CDC.”

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