The Currituck County Board of Education voted Wednesday to make masks optional this coming school year.
The announcement comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance urging mask-wearing among staff and students as COVID-19 cases rise across the country. Earlier CDC guidance recommended masks for elementary school students and staff since children younger than 12 are not eligible for the vaccine.
It also comes ahead of a Thursday afternoon news conference in which Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to discuss the new mask guidance and surge in COVID cases.
Currituck County schools made the mask announcement on Facebook Wednesday evening. Masks, however, will be required on buses, the school division said.
In North Carolina, 80 of the state’s 100 countries are considered high-transmission for the virus, including Dare County. The CDC is also recommending indoor masks for all teachers, staff and students at schools this fall.
The Dare County Board of Education had planned to discuss masks during a special meeting Thursday, but has postponed until Aug. 5.