Mecklenburg Health Director Urges CMS To Require Masks In Schools – WFAE

Mecklenburg County’s top health official is recommending that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools require masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when classes start next month.

Health Director Gibbie Harris says she has advised CMS leaders to require masks inside school buildings. The school board meets at 9 a.m. Friday to decide how to handle face coverings.

“One of the main things we want to be focused on is our children being able to stay in school as much as possible,” Harris said. “And having masks worn in the school is going to increase the likelihood that children are not going to have to be sent home to quarantine because they’ve potentially been exposed.”

CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew said Wednesday evening that she had not yet heard from Superintendent Earnest Winston, but said the board would be ready to make its recommendations and take a vote Friday morning.

This comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that everyone in K through 12 schools wear a mask indoors — and one day before North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to update the state’s COVID-19 rules and recommendations.

Last week, Cooper launched a flurry of “mask optional” school board votes when he announced he wouldn’t extend the state’s mask mandate past July 30. The new state guidelines recommend masks for everyone in grades K-8, where most students are too young for vaccines, and for unvaccinated people in grades 9-12.

So far, about 20 North Carolina districts