CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education will decide Friday whether students will wear masks in classrooms next school year as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads through the Carolinas.
CMS leaders will meet at 9 a.m. Friday morning to decide what masking requirements will be enforced as students prepare to return to the classroom next month.
On Thursday, CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston issued a recommendation that face coverings should be required for all students, staff, volunteers and visitors inside school facilities for the next school year.
Winston said the requirement should be reviewed at the end of each academic quarter or when local metrics and guidance say that safety measures should be revised.
Winston cited the rapidly spreading Delta variant as a factor in his recommendation because of its effect on those who are unvaccinated, including young people.
NCDHHS said only 35 percent of Mecklenburg County residents between the ages of 12 and 17 are fully vaccinated. Only children 12 and older are currently eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“With not everyone eligible to be vaccinated and relatively low vaccination rates among those ages 12-17, using a face covering indoors remains an important safety measure to prevent the spread of the unique and highly transmissible Delta variant.”
Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommended face coverings be required at schools for anyone ages 2 and older.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper echoed the AAP’s recommendation, urging school districts to require face coverings indoors for all K-8 students and staff.
Students are scheduled to return to school on August 25.