Governor Roy Cooper Urges School Boards To Fully Implement Health Protections

Governor Roy Cooper Urges School Boards To Fully Implement Health Protections

3:23pm Aug 13, 2021
Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, speaks during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, May 28, 2020. Photo courtesy: NC Dept of Public Safety, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Governor Roy Cooper is urging school boards to require students and staff to wear masks ahead of the new academic year. This comes as the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant continues its rapid spread across North Carolina. 

Hospitalizations have doubled over the past two weeks and cases are up by more than 50%. With school just around the corner, Gov. Cooper and state health officials sent a letter to school boards that have failed to adopt the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit.

At a recent press conference, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen explained the reasons behind the new push.   

"As we head into a new school year, our north star remains keeping students in classrooms," said Cohen. "We have learned so much about how to keep our kids learning in person and doing it safely. All schools for kindergarten through eighth grade should require all children and staff to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status."

Cohen says for ninth through 12th graders, schools should ensure that those who are not fully vaccinated —including students — wear a mask indoors. Currently, less than a quarter of North Carolinians ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated. Children under 12 are not yet eligible.

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