WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Martin County Schools on Tuesday became the latest district to adopt a mask mandate.
After recommendations from the CDC and Gov. Roy Cooper, all students in grades K-12 in Martin County along with teachers and staff will be required to wear masks. They will be optional for athletes during games.
“Like with every decision safety is our number one concern,” said Martin County Superintendent David Fonseca.
Fonseca believes masks are the safest way to start the school year. In a 4-2 decision, board members made the vote based on the rising cases in the county.
“Our numbers had been looking really good up until very recently. We didn’t think we would be here and with a change in numbers they were in a tough position and they made what they felt was the best decision for the staff and students,” said Sarah Stalls, Public Information Officer.
Athletic directors decided to make masks optional for athletes.
“Majority of our athletics at this time being outdoors. Some are indoors but those sports are able to spread our students out and they are isolated away from fans during that time,” said Clay Wagner, Director of Student and Family Services.
While some may not be excited to continue wearing masks, Fonseca hopes everyone understands the decision.
“Bear with us. Safety is our number one concern we are all hoping that the vaccinations across the state and the nation continue to work so that we can eliminate the face masks as soon as possible,” said Fonseca.
The school year will look different but leaders are excited to see students and families face to face.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming all of our students and staff and parents to our buildings. we are excited about the 2021-2022 school year and we appreciate their support,” Fonseca said.