Guilford County Schools considers requiring masks for 2021-2022 school year

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County Schools may soon require everyone to wear a mask in school facilities if the school board approves the superintendent’s latest proposal.

Guilford County Schools Superintendent Sharon Contreras is set to recommend a plan that would require everyone to wear a face mask inside GCS buildings during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The school board would review the requirement at the end of each academic quarter, about every 10 weeks.

The school district would also collect information on the vaccination status of employees, student-athletes, coaches and students involved in high-risk extracurricular activities.

Contreras recommends mandatory COVID-19 testing for any students and staff who are involved in athletic or high-risk extracurricular activities and are not fully vaccinated.

Contreras, in her message to the board of education, says this will help prevent the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

“Vaccines are still effective against the Delta variant and are the leading prevention strategy against COVID-19 for those who are eligible,” Contreras said. “However, most students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade are not yet eligible for vaccination and masking remains the most effective prevention strategy against COVID-19 spread for this age group.”

North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases are back above 1,000 cases per day, as health leaders warn individuals who have still not been vaccinated for the virus.

On July 15, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen addressed the state, stressing that the numbers were disturbing as Fourth of July-linked cases appear.

“We had a thousand new cases a day reported yesterday and today. That’s more than three times the number of cases we were seeing just two weeks ago,” Cohen said.

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