No Masks Required: Onslow school board set to ignore state health guidance

(WITN News)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 1:51 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 3:19 PM EDT
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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - One Eastern Carolina school system is poised to buck mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

Onslow County Schools on Tuesday released a draft of its COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming semester.

Following approval, the Onslow County Board of Education said it will not require face coverings or masks for anybody in schools, leaving the decision up to them.

“All students, staff and community members are encouraged to make their own decisions regarding their personal health as to whether to wear a face covering or mask,” the system said in a press release, “Harassment, discrimination, bullying or intimidation based on any person’s decision to wear or not wear a face covering or mask will not be tolerated.”

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said that it would be recommending that students and staff in K-8 mask up regardless of vaccination status. For 9-12 grade, health officials recommend school systems require that only those students and staff who have not been vaccinated wear a mask.

The CDC on Tuesday updated recommendations that all K-12 students and staff across the U.S. mask up this semester regardless of vaccination status.

Final approval of the school system’s protocols is expected at the board’s regular August meeting. Comments on the plan can be sent to

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