Beaufort County schools keep masks optional

WASHINGTON, NC (WNCT) – The discussion about masks in schools continues this semester for school boards in eastern North Carolina.

The Beaufort County Schools Board of Education voted 6-3 Tuesday night to keep masks optional for students and staff. Kristen Riddle is the Public Information Officer for Beaufort County Schools. She said that although they are optional, a number of people still wear the mask.

“We still have a lot of kids choosing to wear a mask,” Riddle said.

The school district is updating its COVID-19 Dashboard weekly. Right now, Riddle said the numbers appear to be on a downward trend.

“From what we’ve seen, cases are going down here in the county,” she said. “Even with non-compulsory masking, we see them falling.”

She attributed this to some of their COVID protocols.

“We still use the NC Schools toolkit for cleaning, obviously we clean every day,” she said. “We are doing voluntary testing for staff and students. If they have been exposed or if they are not feeling well, we carry out the tests.

“We’re still tracking the toolbox up to five days of quarantine, five days of masking, and that’s if they’re asymptomatic.”

According to state law, the board will have to revote the mask mandate at its March meeting.

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