WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — The Watauga County Board of Education voted on Aug. 9 to make masks mandatory for students and staff, regardless of vaccination status. The decision is a reversal, as the board initially voted to make masks optional on July 26.
The move comes just days after Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz issued a State of Emergency in the town limits that includes an indoor mask mandate. The mandate was issued due to a significant rise in COVID-19 cases, according to a news release.
The State of Emergency in Boone does not apply to Watauga County Schools, Watauga County property, or state property, so the decision on masks was fully up to the district.
Current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for schools states masks should be worn indoors by people age two and older who are not fully vaccinated.
Hickory Public Schools and Kannapolis City Schools also decided Monday to require masks in schools.