CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – There is a rise in COVID cases in children and teens, but no mask mandate for North Carolina schools.
Fox 46’s Robin Kanady pressed Governor Roy Cooper Wednesday about why he’s not requiring masks in schools.
The governor did not answer those questions except to say the state has given schools strong recommendations and that he hopes school boards that have voted to make masks optional will reconsider and put in a requirement.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says almost 72,000 new cases were added over the past week. That means kids and teens accounted for 19% of new cases.
“I am concerned in schools that are not going to mandate masking that we will see much wider outbreaks of COVID and they may be forced to shut down by their local health departments if they have much wider outbreaks,” said Dr. Charles Bregier with Novant Health.
The Cabarrus County School Board voted to make masks optional.
Wolf Meadow Elementary, a year-round school in that district, has 4 positive COVID cases and 38 people in the school in quarantine.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say according to state guidelines, students don’t have to quarantine if they’re exposed to COVID at school and they’ve been fully masked.
Governor Roy Cooper twice dodged Kanady’s questions Wednesday about why he’s not requiring masks in schools.
“We have strongly recommended that school boards require masking, the CDC recommendations say that, our doctors say that, we have a lot of evidence that schools are very safe when protection measures are taken including masking,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
“But governor why are you not mandating it?” asked Kanady.
“I think everybody knows what to do. We’ve given the school systems the tools they need to make the decisions in their local areas, we want to concentrate our efforts on vaccination and that’s what we’re doing,” said Gov. Cooper.