Mooresville Graded Schools say mask mandate has led to less students quarantined

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Just days into the start of the new school year, Mooresville schools switched to requiring masks for students and staff members.

The decision came after more than 80 students had to quarantine in the Mooresville Graded School District. After that, and a significant increase in cases, positive tests and hospitalizations in Iredell County by the end of the first week, the superintendent announced the change in the mask policy.

“Since we have had masks required, our quarantines are dropping considerably. We have a large group that will actually shift off the dashboard this weekend because they’re going to be allowed to come back and that will really be the last large group of quarantined students pre-mask mandate,” said Tanae McLean, communication officer for the district.

The district’s dashboard shows the number of close contacts exempt from quarantine because both people were masked. Currently, while 308 people are quarantined because of a positive case or a close contact, 212 close contacts don’t need to quarantine.

“As far as keeping our students in school, it is absolutely the right direction as long as we can keep kids in school and we’re able to be able to teach them in the best manner possible. And with the new guidelines, if both students are masked they don’t have to quarantine. That is helping tremendously,” McLean said.

Parent Christ Harmon said he sent his fifth-grader to school on day 1 with a mask and wasn’t surprised by the policy shift.

“Honestly, I had no doubts they were going to go back pretty quickly to masks,” he said. “I’m fine with it. I support it, masks, vaccines. Let’s get this behind us.”

When asked about the positive cases they are seeing, McLean said a lot of their positives are from community spread.

Channel 9′s Elsa Gillis also reached out to Union Academy Charter Academy, who experienced something similar early on. A rep said: “Requiring masks has significantly reduced cases and the number of people who need to quarantine.”

(Watch Below: Rowan-Salisbury Schools reverses decision, will require masks for all students, staff members)