Delta blues

The number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are once again on the rise due to the delta variant, which is more contagious than the original virus. Despite mask recommendations from the CDC and state health officials, several school systems have decided to make masks optional when students return to class.

School boards make different decisions on masks

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and transmission rates following the spread of the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for public schools to recommend universal masking for students, staff and visitors in grades K-12. 

Mask mandate back in Cherokee; Masking encouraged but not required in N.C.

The indoor mask mandate is back on the Qualla Boundary following a July 29 executive order from Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard Sneed.

Local school boards now responsible for mask mandate

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced new health guidelines for North Carolina public schools on Wednesday. School districts should require masks indoors for all students and staff in grades K-8. In grades 9-12, students and staff who have not been vaccinated should also be required to wear masks indoors. 

Macon Schools plan to start year without masks

After North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced new health guidelines for North Carolina Public Schools, giving local school boards the power to issue and enforce mask mandates, Macon County School board met to discuss the issue. 

COVID cases, deaths hit new lows

Since Gov. Roy Cooper lifted the mask mandate on May 14, indoor gatherings have returned and face coverings have nearly disappeared from public spaces, while daily case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to plummet. 

 

School Board publicly opposes mask mandate

At a special called board meeting last week, Haywood County Schools Board of Education considered defying the current mask mandate in place for North Carolina Public Schools.

Mask mandates lifted amid plummeting COVID-19 numbers

New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are falling toward the lowest levels seen since the pandemic took root. 

Masking rules take effect on public lands

On Jan. 20, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring coronavirus prevention protocols — including mask-wearing — on all federal lands and buildings. Now, management teams at National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service lands are deciding how to implement the new requirement locally. 

Anti-mask, anti-vax views raise concerns

One of the loudest voices against masks and vaccines during recent public comment sessions in Haywood County also serves on a nonprofit health care board that’s charged with managing more than $12 million of taxpayer money meant to support public health. 

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