COUNTY BY COUNTY: Local school districts’ mask, quarantine policies

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As school districts all over the Channel 9 viewing area work to navigate the pandemic, parents want to know whether their child is required to wear a mask in the classroom.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper provided an update on July 21 on mask guidance in schools.

[LINK: StrongSchoolsNC toolkit]

Schools with students in 9th through 12th grades should ensure that anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, including students, wear a mask indoors.

On Oct. 25, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated the StrongSchools Tool Kit FAQ related to K12 schools and face coverings.

“Given that our student population is largely not yet vaccinated, face coverings remain a critical tool for protecting children and keeping them safely in the classroom.

“NCDHHS recommends schools continue to implement a universal face covering requirement if they are located in a county with high or substantial community transmission level.

“When community transmission levels decline to moderate or low levels for at least seven consecutive days, school leaders can consider making face coverings optional for vaccinated individuals. Face coverings should continue to be required for all unvaccinated individuals until community transmission is at low levels, when mask could be optional for everyone.”

[READ: American Academy of Pediatrics: Students should wear masks in school, no matter vaccination status]

Cooper is giving a COVID-19 update during a news conference on Wednesday, Oct. 27.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order in May that allowed parents to opt their children out of wearing masks in public schools.

Below is a roundup of school districts, charter schools and private schools mask and quarantine policies:

North Carolina Schools

  • Alexander County (updated Aug. 31): Masks required indoors for staff and students.
  • Anson County (updated Oct. 26): The Anson County School Board decided that students and staff must continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Ashe County (updated Aug. 17): Masks required.
  • Avery County (updated Aug. 10): Masks optional.
  • Burke County Public Schools (updated Oct. 18): Masks remain required.
  • Caldwell County (updated Aug. 27): Masks required indoors on school grounds for students, staff and visitors. CCS is opening the Caldwell Online (virtual option for K-12) for the 2021-2022 school year. The application window has closed.
  • Cabarrus County (updated Oct. 18): Voted 4-3 to make masks optional. Click here for more information.
  • Catawba County (updated Sept. 27): Masks required.
  • Charlotte Catholic High School: Masks optional.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg (updated Aug. 11): Masks required regardless of vaccination status; a Request for Face Covering Exemption form must be submitted for any student seeking an exception from wearing a face covering in school. The form will need to be filled out and signed by the parent or guardian and require a medical recommendation before being submitted to the student’s school administration. Any prior exemption form is not valid for the 2021-2022 academic year. Until a Request for Face Covering Exemption is approved, all students must wear a mask.
  • Cleveland County (updated Aug. 18): The Cleveland County School Board voted to require masks for students, staff members and visitors while inside school buildings.
  • Gaston County (updated Aug. 16): Masks required through Sept. 20.
  • Gaston County Piedmont Community Charter Schools (updated Aug. 23): Masks now required.
  • Hickory Public Schools (updated Aug. 9): Masks required. Board of Education unanimously voted to require masks of all students and all staff. Students and staff are required to wear masks inside all school facilities. All visitors who enter inside any school facilities must also wear masks.
  • Iredell-Statesville Schools (Aug. 31): Masks required.
  • Kannapolis City Schools (Aug. 9): Masks required.
  • Lake Norman Charter (updated Aug. 3): Masks required for students and staff while indoors.
  • Lincoln County Schools (updated Oct. 12): A motion to require masks fails. The motion to keep them optional passed.
  • Mooresville Graded School District (updated July Aug. 5): Mooresville Graded School District is reversing course and will now require masks in schools, effective Aug. 6. In the first four days of school, MGSD had to quarantine 80 students. If masking was in place, less than 10 would have needed to quarantine. Click here for a message from Dr. Mauney.
  • Newton-Conover City Schools (updated Sept. 3): Required.
  • Richmond County Schools: Masks required.
  • Rowan-Salisbury Schools (updated August 18): Masks required for students and staff while indoors.
  • Stanly County Schools (updated Oct. 6): Masks required.
  • Union County Public Schools (updated Oct. 5): Board of Education voted, 7-2, to keep masks optional.
  • Watauga County (updated Aug. 9): Watauga County Board of Education changed its previous optional mask requirement and has unanimously voted to require masks in schools.

South Carolina Schools

  • Chester County Schools (updated Oct. 26): Leaders voted, 5-1, to continue the districtwide mask policy for 60 days.
  • Chesterfield County Schools (Oct. 26): No mask policy in place.
  • Clover schools: Parents can opt children out of wearing masks.
  • Ft Mill Schools - (updated Oct. 5): Masks optional.
  • Lancaster County School District: The Lancaster County School District strongly encourages all students and staff to wear masks at all times while in a school or district facility. Click here for more information.
  • Rock Hill Schools (updated Sept. 13): Parents can opt children out of wearing masks. Schools will have close contacts quarantine for just 10 days. That will be lowered to 7 days on Sept. 27.


(WATCH BELOW: Local doctor recommends masks in schools)