North Carolina students will likely wear masks in class again this fall, unless the state changes COVID-19 rules

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – Triangle school districts are preparing to welcome students again this fall for in-person learning, and most districts plan to require masks in classrooms.

Durham Public Schools will begin classes year round on Monday and although things are almost back to normal, students can still expect to wear masks all day.

Durham is also dropping social distancing signage in schools as they will continue to try to keep children as separate as possible.

“This is going to be crucial in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among the unvaccinated,” said Chip Sudderth, spokesperson for Durham Public Schools.

Sudderth said requiring masks is the plan for now, unless North Carolina state officials change the requirements.

“Then we’ll continue to take a look at it throughout the year and then see what our board thinks about it,” said Sudderth.

While Durham Public Schools, the Wake County Public School System, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Town Schools and the Johnston County School System still plan to require masks, the Harnett County School Board voted in June to make masks optional for students during summer school.

Harnett County’s decision flies in the face of state COVID-19 requirements for schools. CBS 17 has contacted the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to see if the Harnett County School Board could face consequences for not following the state’s mask order, but we have not had an answer.

Jeneane Jones-Morris said her two teenage boys who attend school in Durham have been fully immunized.

She said she would always have her children masked even if Durham Public Schools did not require it.

“I think every precaution that can be taken to keep everyone safe should be taken,” Jones-Morris said. “Individually, for us, we remain masked, no matter what the DPS, the CDC or the WHO say. There are simply too many unknowns at this point.

For more information on the fall plans at Durham Public Schools and the Wake County Public School System, click on the following links:

Durham Public Schools | Wake County Public School System

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