Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools To Require Masking As COVID Surges In NC – WFAE

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted 8-1 Friday to require masks for all students, staff and volunteers in schools. Superintendent Earnest Winston said the mandate is the best way to control the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant and to minimize the need for quarantines.

“We believe this is the best way to make sure that our students get maximum in-person time this school year,” he said. “We know in person is how most of our students learn best, and teaching and learning is our mission.”

Board member Sean Strain cast the only “no” vote, after questioning whether the mandate really protects young children whose risk of serious illness is low. He said for children too young to be vaccinated, contracting a mild case of COVID-19 could prove beneficial.

“It’s unfortunate that they contracted the disease,” he said, “but if there’s no serious illness and they have immunity, that’s a good result.”

Dr. Meg Sullivan, medical director for Mecklenburg County’s health department, told the board that severe cases of COVID-19 may be rare among young children, but they do happen and can have long-lasting effects.

Opponents of the mask mandate brought signs to the meeting and occasionally shouted over speakers.

The board’s majority said they’re following advice from medical experts across the