Beaufort County Schools board votes to return to masks optional in class

School Watch

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Beaufort County Schools’ Board of Education voted Tuesday to return to a mask optional policy for staff and students when in the classroom.

WNCT’s Erin Jenkins confirmed with Beaufort County Schools Superintendent Matthew Cheesman that the board voted Tuesday evening to switch from wearing masks to making it optional. The vote to make the switch was 5-4.

The mandate goes into effect immediately.

Masks are still required to be worn on school and activity buses. Cheeseman brought to the board the recommendation that masks continue to be worn but after discussion, the change was voted on.

“All toolkit structures, including mitigation efforts and quarantine protocols remain in effect,” Cheeseman told Jenkins.

Beaufort County Schools voted back in early August to make masks optional. However, Gov. Roy Cooper and health officials had been stressing for all school systems to make masks required. On Aug. 18, Beaufort County Schools went to masks being required after hearing recommendations from Beaufort County Health Director Jim Madson.

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