Masks now optional for Dare County Schools

Published 7:29 am Wednesday, February 9, 2022

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Effective immediately, masks or face coverings are not required in Dare County school buildings.

On a 6-1 vote, Dare’s school board voted to rescind its current masking policy requiring face coverings indoors all school buildings. Board member Margaret Lawler voted no based on her conversations with principals in the system’s schools.

The motion, proposed by former board chairman Mary Ellon Ballance, removed this language from three policies – “the board requires face coverings to be required indoors in all Dare County Schools facilities” – and replaced it with the following:

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“Though the board encourages students, employees, and visitors to follow public health guidance regarding the use of face coverings while in school buildings, such use is not required at this time. The use of face coverings is required only when on school buses or other school transportation vehicles, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in the CDC Order that requires the wearing of face coverings on all public transportation conveyances.”

The remainder of sections in the old policy were struck.

Superintendent John Farrelly said that on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, when attendance is taken in the morning, the staffer taking attendance will note whether the student is or is not wearing a mask. The rules for quarantine will be different.

The board’s February 8 regular meeting at which the masks optional decision was made was held in the gymnasium at Cape Hatteras Secondary School in Buxton.