NC students will likely wear masks to class again this fall, unless state changes COVID-19 rules


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — School districts across the Triangle are preparing to welcome students back this fall for in-person learning, and most districts plan to require masks in classrooms.

Durham Public Schools will start their year-round classes Monday and while things will be almost back to normal, students can still expect to wear masks all day.

Durham is also leaving up social distancing signage in schools, as they will continue to try to keep kids apart as much as possible.

“That’s going to be crucial to keeping COVID-19 from being spread among the unvaccinated,” said Chip Sudderth, spokesman for Durham Public Schools.

Sudderth said requiring masks is the plan for now, unless North Carolina state officials change the requirements.

“Then we’ll continue to take a look at that as the year progresses and then we’ll see what our board thinks,” Sudderth said.

While Durham Public Schools, the Wake County Public School System, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and the Johnston County School System plan to still require masks, the Harnett County School Board voted in June to make masks optional for students during summer school.

Harnett County’s decision goes against the state’s COVID-19 requirements for schools. CBS 17 reached out to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to see if the Harnett County School Board could face any consequences for not following the state’s mask order, but we have not heard back.

Jeneane Jones-Morris said both of her teenage children who attend school in Durham have been fully vaccinated.

She said she would still have her children mask up even if Durham Public Schools did not require it.

“I think that any precaution that can be taken to keep everyone safe should be taken,” Jones-Morris said. “Individually, for us, we’re staying masked up no matter what DPS, the CDC, or the WHO says. There’s just too many unknowns at this point.”

For more information on fall plans in Durham Public Schools and the Wake County Public School system, click on the following links:

Durham Public Schools | Wake County Public School System

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