WNC schools repeal mask mandates
School systems in all four counties of The Smoky Mountain News’ coverage area are no longer requiring masks in schools. The slew of decisions came on the heels of updated COVID-19 guidance and new direction from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper urges mask mandate end as Omicron subsides
Case numbers continue to decline in Western North Carolina and statewide as the Omicron surge subsides.
Masks now optional in Haywood schools
Masks are optional for students and staff of Haywood County Schools after the school board voted last night to remove the pandemic restriction that had been in place since August 2021 following public comment heavily in favor of doing so.
Macon votes for optional masking, universal testing in schools
The Macon County School Board decided last week to make masks optional for all K-12 students. The decision came on the same day that the state Department of Health and Human Services updated its guidance for North Carolina schools, no longer recommending districts require face masks for all students and staff in school.
Haywood School Board reverses course, mandates masks
At an emergency meeting Saturday, the Haywood County School Board voted 5-2 to mandate masks and enact a plan that will adjust masking policy based on the weekly averages of positive COVID-19 cases.
As COVID cases rise, schools reverse mask decisions
As COVID-19 cases rise, in large part due to the spread of the new Delta variant, school boards across the state are opting to mandate masks for students and staff.
Parents petition Haywood school board to require masks
A petition to start the school year with universal masking in Haywood County Schools has over 630 signatures. This comes after a July 27 board meeting, when the Haywood County School board voted unanimously to make masking optional for all students, staff and visitors during the 2021-22 school year.
Masks back at college
With case numbers surging and fall semester beginning, local colleges and universities are reinstituting indoor masking requirements that had been lifted for the summer months.
Swain will mandate masks in schools
Swain County Schools will start the year with a mask mandate, reversing a previous decision to make masks optional for the 2021-22 school year.
Masks back at WCU
With case numbers surging, Western Carolina University has announced that it will ask members of the campus community to report their vaccination status and require masks in all indoor public spaces.