Community Living | Coupon | Police Scanner | E-News Signup | Archives | Merchant Directory | Dining Guide
Have a HOT TIP? Call 704-276-6587 Or E-mail us At LH@LincolnHerald.net
Advanced Search
Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC


home : news : news October 19, 2021

7/27/2021 10:51:00 PM
Schools Make Masks Optional

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


The Gaston County School Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening to make face coverings optional for students and employees.

In making that decision, the board apparently pleased most parents, many of whom attended the meeting to speak against making masks a requirement.

The decision came after Gaston County Public Health Director Steve Eaton presented information to the School Board Tuesday urging them to require unvaccinated students and employees to wear masks.

The new policy, effective next week, will mean that wearing masks is purely optional, whether or not a student, teacher or other school personnel has been vaccinated.

The decision flies in the face of the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit – published and updated by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services last week – which recommended that schools with students in kindergarten through eighth grade should require all children and staff to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Schools with students in 9th through 12th grades should ensure that anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, including students, wear a mask indoors, according to that policy announced as a recommendation by Governor Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.

At its June 29th meeting, the Lincoln County School Board also adopted a policy that masks are purely optional. Lincoln County Schools also announced that no remote classes will be held during the coming school year.

Catawba County Schools and Cleveland County Schools also voted Monday to make masks optional during the coming school year.  

The CDC reversed its previous recommendation on Tuesday (July 17th) saying that people vaccinated against the coronavirus should resume wearing masks in schools and public indoor spaces.

“This is not a decision we made lightly,"said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky.

The CDC's revised recommendation involves any place where people gather, especially schools.

The CDC recommends that all schools--in all grades--resume a mask requirement and take other measures to once again help stop the spread of the virus, including the delta variety that is more transmissible than the original.

"The unvaccinated are driving the new infections," Walensky said, "but we believe everybody should be wearing a mask in those areas with substantial numbers of new cases." All of the North Carolina counties in this area fit that description.

Walensky said another reason for a mask requirement is that it's difficult to know who has and who has not been vaccinated. "We know that 12 to 17-year-olds, right now, have only about 30 percent fully vaccinated. That's why the CDC is recommending that all K through 12 schools should require that everyone be masked. be opened for full-time in-person learning. But in those indoor settings, everyone should be masked.

"Schools should still plan on returning to in-person learning, but with masks."

The evidence is clear--vaccinations against the virus have slowed while the virus, especially the delta variety, is once again spreading rapidly in what might be called a 'fourth wave.'  Both the Gaston & Lincoln County health departments put out news releases last Friday informing the public that the number of new cases and hospitalizations is now increasing after falling steadily over the last few months.

Lincoln County reported 189 new cases over the last two weeks as of Friday (July 23rd). Catawba County reported 69 new cases over the previous week as of last Wednesday (July 21st), 71 the week that ended July 14th. New weekly figures will be released Wednesday afternoon (July 28th).  

Cleveland County reported its first COVID-19 death in seven weeks on Monday. The victim was said to be under age 50. The death brought the county's total since the beginning of the pandemic to 229. Lincoln County has had 86 deaths from the virus; Catawba County, 314; and Gaston County 445.

The Cleveland County Health Dept. reported that in the past seven days, the county has had 123 new cases; 30 new cases were confirmed on Tuesday.

For the first time in over two months, the statewide percentage of positive tests for COVID-19 was over 10% on Tuesday. The NCDHHS also reported that hospitalizations from the disease have again risen to over a thousand.  The Intensive Care Units at some hospitals are now once again packed with COVID patients.

Joining the call for masks in schools is the American Academy of Pediatrics, which advised July 19th that vaccinated kids over the age of 2 should still wear masks in schools, citing the risk of new COVID variants and how difficult it will be for schools to determine who is and is not vaccinated.




1 - First Federal standard ad 300

CLICK HERE
to have us email you our
newest stories every day.


From the beginning, we have reported on the pandemic accurately and have shared information from reliable sources.  Some have called it a hoax; some said it was 'just the flu;' others hollered 'politics!'  If our reporting offends you but saves lives, we're proud to have made the effort.  It's real, it's dangerous, and we tried to warn you.  While we wish it were, the pandemic isn't over.  If we don't get more people vaccinated, it may get much worse again.

For nearly nine years now, we've been keeping Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston & Cleveland counties informed.  
Anyone can read our articles without having to pay for a subscription; we post links to them on Facebook and Twitter; and those who have signed up for our email service--also FREE--receive a daily email with links to all the articles we've posted since the previous day.  We'll continue to do our best to keep our readers informed.  

Thank you for visiting our website.  Follow us on Facebook at LincolnHerald.net and on Twitter @LincolnHerald20.



3 - Lincolnton Animal Hospital - April Generic




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   














HomeNewsState NewsReligionOpinionSportsObituariesExtrasCommunityClassifiedsSubmitLife

Terms and Use | Merchant Directory | Dining Guide
Site Design and Content
Copyright Lincoln Herald, LLC 2011-2021

 


Software © 1998-2021 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved