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NCDHHS & NCBOE change school guidelines, face coverings now to be worn at all times

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Last Updated on July 26, 2020 7:02 am

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Board of Education have updated guidelines regarding face coverings in schools.

On Friday, the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit was updated to reflect that now all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and all teachers, staff and adult visitors, wear face coverings. Previously the guidelines stated that face coverings only needed to be worn when within 6 feet of another person.

The exact wording of the changes reads, “Ensure that all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and all teachers, staff and adult visitors, wear face coverings when they are or may be within 6 feet of another person, unless the person (or family member, for a student) states that an exception applies, is eating, or is engaged in strenuous physical activity and able to maintain 6 feet distance from other people. Cloth face coverings must be worn by all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and all teachers, staff and adult visitors on buses or other school transportation vehicles, inside school buildings, and anywhere on school grounds, including outside.

The guidance also states that face coverings are to be worn on a bus or other transportation vehicle.

That exact wording regarding that change reads, “Ensure that all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and all teachers, staff and adult visitors wear face coverings when they are or may be within 6 feet of another person on a bus or other transportation vehicle, unless the person (or family member, for a student) states that an exception applies.”

Addressing the new guidance Watauga County Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott stated, “We have been working hard to provide our parents and teachers with the most accurate information possible while at the same time the state guidelines are changing daily. I know the issue of wearing face coverings is an issue for many people for many different reasons, so it is important that everyone pay attention to this change and think about what it means. For some, it will be reassuring to know that the face masks will be worn by everyone most of the time. For others, they might want to think about how they prepare their children for this expectation.”

Dr. Elliott went on to add, “The guidance also mentions building in time throughout the day when students and staff can take breaks from wearing their masks, and we will certainly work hard to find safe ways to do that.”

The StrongSchoolsNC FAQ and Public Health Toolkit PDFs can be viewed below.

Strong-Schools-NC-FAQs

Strong-Schools-NC-Public-Health-Toolkit

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