Rowan-Salisbury Schools extends mask policy after rise in virus cases

SALISBURY, N.C. — Rowan-Salisbury Schools voted Monday to extend the district’s mask requirement after a rise in cases among students, faculty and staff.

The district’s mask policy, which requires masks indoors for all students, staff members and visitors was set to expire this week.

School leaders held a special meeting Monday afternoon where they voted to extend the policy until Oct. 11. The school board said it will meet again on that day to review the decision.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools started the academic year with a mask-optional approach, but school leaders reversed course and voted to require masks one week later.

Since then, the district said it has seen COVID-19 cases among students and employees rise.

According to Rowan-Salisbury’s COVID-19 dashboard, the number of students who have tested positive for the virus has increased from three on Aug. 13 to 282 on Aug. 27. The number of students in quarantine has risen from 271 on Aug. 13 to 3,192 on Aug. 27.

On Aug. 13, 19 employees had reportedly tested positive for the virus and on Aug. 27, that number had increased to 52. 149 employees are currently in quarantine -- an increase of 119 since Aug. 13.

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