NC Coronavirus update February 14: 5 district school districts to review COVID-19 mask requirements for students and staff

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – Here’s the latest news and information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines.

Chatham County Education Council voted Monday to begin a gradual transition to an optional camouflage policy.

In the first phase, which runs on Tuesday, the school district will no longer require athletes to wear masks during sporting events. This proposal was adopted by 5-0 votes.

With 3-2 votes the county approved the transition to optional camouflage in CCS classrooms and facilities. But it will only start around March 7.

“Staff and students who want to continue wearing masks can do so,” said Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson. “But we recognize that others in the community want the opportunity to take off their masks, and we believe it’s time to offer that choice. We do so with the understanding that the risk now shifts from mitigating the area to individual responsibility.”

The council has convened until March 7 to “review the available data and confirm and approve the next steps.”

“The numbers are going in the right direction,” said Gary Leonard, chairman of the board. “We believe that as more people get vaccinated and vaccinated and also approaching the end of winter, we can give our staff and students a choice of whether they want to wear a mask or not.”

The county said it would continue to monitor the level of infection and make appropriate adjustments to policy.

“We are working closely with our local Department of Health to see how the community is coping with COVID-19,” Leonard said. “We will continue to have these talks with the department and will turn to it for guidance.”

Edgecomb School Board has voted to maintain the current mask mandate.

The school board plans to meet again in two weeks to review the policy of the mask mandate.

The Moore County School Board has just voted to make face masks optional to take effect immediately.

The Moore County School Board voted 4-3 to make the board meeting Tuesday night optional.

The decision was met with applause, and several board members tore masks from their faces.

The meeting also amended to vote on the mandate of the mask before listening to public comment. It was planned to perform more than 30 people. This amendment was adopted.

On Monday afternoon at a school board meeting, many parents in Johnston County were preparing for their children to start attending school under the guise of a mask starting Feb. 21.

However, during the meeting, Johnston County School Board member Mike Wooten suggested switching to a mask at will “without reservation” starting next Monday.

This proposal was accepted by the majority.

Here’s how Johnston County has handled COVID-19 over the past 14 days:

  • 2243 cases in the last 14 days
  • 1071 cases per 100,000 people
  • 12 603 tests for the last 14 days
  • 29.1% positive
  • 490 children in the last 2 weeks
  • In the last K-12 report there was 1 outbreak with 7 cases in children and 1 in staff

“Forget about all the other parents running around here and saying their kids shouldn’t wear masks,” said Cleveland High School father Sean Washington. Someone now, today, does not know whether their child is ill or not. And they quickly send their child to school about it. ”

Other parents joined.

“I think the optional ability gives people the freedom we all deserve,” said Lynn Hellman’s father. “Give (parents) freedom of choice, do you want your child to be in a mask, or do you not want your child to be in a mask. People who feel this strongly disguise their children. People who don’t do that won’t disguise their children. “

Moore, Chatham, Edgecomb, Northampton and Franklin counties are meeting Monday night to discuss how best to move forward with a mask mandate on their county campuses.

The state legislature requires school boards to issue monthly mandates for masks.

“I can tell you just by looking – I can tell you that half of them are not wearing this mask properly,” said another father, who called himself only “Theme.” And I think research has shown that these little cotton masks are a little distracting. ”

Washington said: “If you make it optional, you will see many teachers, many children who do not wear masks. And eventually, you will have a flash that will cause children to carry it home, teachers carry it home to their families, loved ones. You will still have problems with this. “

Students and staff will still be required to wear face masks in all buses and other school vehicles.

– said DeHuan Hogard from ABC11.

Five school districts will today weigh the future of mask mandates for students and staff.

School boards are scheduled to meet in Chatham, Moore, Edgecombe, Northampton and Franklin counties on Monday.

The Johnston County Board of Education is also meeting Monday to discuss recent changes to the NCDHHS guidelines on COVID-19 for schools.

The meeting is scheduled for almost 4 p.m. The NCDHHS no longer recommends tracking contacts in schools and easing quarantine rules for asymptomatic people exposed to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Cumberland County schools are going to make masks optional on Wednesday. In addition, officials from Lee County schools are set to meet on Thursday to discuss their policy on masks.

U.S. MP Richard Hudson, R-NC, is urging the Cumberland County Department of Health to review the order and allow additional masks for county schools.

On Tuesday, the Cumberland County Board of Education voted to make masks optional for students. But that decision is blocked by an emission reduction order issued by the Cumberland County Department of Health in August 2021, which provides for wearing masks indoors, Hudson said.

In the letter Cumberland County Health Director Hudson urged the Department to reconsider the order.

“In addition to following a well-established science, I would also encourage you to follow your parents,” Hudson wrote in part. “Our local Cumberland County Board of Education has decided to make masks optional based on existing science and their current roles as parents, educators and local leaders. I respectfully urge you to follow their example and reconsider the emission reduction order in August 2021, in light of both the latest evidence and the respected contribution of parents. ”

On Tuesday, Hudson addressed the US House of Representatives and called for support for the Expose Our Children Act.

The FDA has just approved the use of a new monoclonal antibody treatment from Eli Lilly that has proven effective against Omicron and subvariant BA.2.

It’s called bebtelovab, and Lily worked on it for months.

As with other monoclonal treatments, this one is designed for patients with Covid in the early stages of infection to help them not get sick even more and to keep them out of the hospital at high risk of getting sick.

The Biden administration has said it has purchased 600,000 doses pending its EUA for about $ 720 million. It is planned to receive about 300,000 doses this month, and another 300,000 in March. The contract also includes a future option for 500,000 additional doses as needed.

This was announced on Friday by the US Food and Drug Administration that he is postponing a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products, originally scheduled for Feb. 15, as “new data recently emerged” regarding a request for permission to use Pfizer and BioNTech for their Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5.

“This will give the agency time to review additional data, which will allow for transparent public debate as part of our routine scientific and regulatory processes for vaccines against COVID-19. team from the company’s current clinical trials and has the opportunity to complete an updated evaluation, ”said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock and Dr. Peter Marx, director of the FDA’s Center for Biological Substance Evaluation and Research, the statement said.

12:56 p.m.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Tim Moore, R. Cleveland, said the House of Representatives is proposing a law that gives parents the opportunity to waive the mask requirements for schoolchildren.

The speaker’s office said on Thursday that Tim Moore had sent a letter to Governor Roy Cooper asking him to stop a policy that actually involves the use of masks in schools.

Although the NCDHHS said it would update the COVID guidelines for students, the only major updates to the toolkit were to eliminate contact tracking for K-12 and end the recommendation to allow students who have undergone asymptomatic quarantine.

“This refusal by Governor Cooper and DHHS to repeal obsolete mask mandates will mean that many schools will leave those mandates in place,” Moore said. “Yesterday’s updates were just not strong enough. We need to do more to protect our children from further learning failures and other consequences of upholding these mandates. ”

He added: “Once the redistribution is complete, we will promote legislation in the House of Representatives to give parents the option to waive the mask requirement. Virginia is already promoting a bipartisan bill. It’s the parents, not the politicians who should decide whether to mask their children or not.” .

12:21 p.m.
The NCDHHS reported 7,539 new cases totaling 2,525,734 since the start of the pandemic.

The cases are three times less than two Fridays, which is more indicative that the Omicron variant works here in North Carolina.

The daily percentage of the application is the lowest since Christmas.

The last figure is 15.4%. Just two weeks ago it was 30.4%.

Decreased and hospitalizations, patients became 130 less than the day before. The total number is 3,556. A week ago there were 4,492 people in the hospital.

This is a drop of 21% compared to last Friday and the lowest number of patients since 6 January.

85 new deaths were reported, for a total of 21,665.

7:05 p.m.
The first deliveries of vaccines to children under the age of 5 may arrive at pediatricians as early as Feb. 21, according to a planning guide sent by the state from federal health officials and received by ABC News.

Doses can be dispatched as soon as the FDA signs.
The FDA’s Independent Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday, after which the FDA may issue an emergency use permit.

An independent CDC advisory group is expected to meet within days of FDA approval. Once the CDC signs the recommendations of its group, vaccination can be started for children under 5 years of age.

Durham and Orange counties are handing out free N95 masks on Friday.

In Durham County, each family can receive a package of 10 masks anywhere in the county library.

In Orange County, free masks are available at the Margaret Lane Library in Hillsboro or at the Interfaith Social Services Council in Carbara.

Public health officials updated guide to COVID-19 for schools. Masks are still strongly recommended for all students 5 years and older, but major changes have been announced in contact and quarantine tracking instructions.

Contact tracking is completely eliminated. State health leaders said omicron option and increased number of home tests have contacted
tracking is much less effective than it was in the past.

In addition, students and staff exposed to COVID-19 no longer need to stay at home and be isolated – unless they have symptoms or a positive test for the virus.

These recommendations will be discussed by the Wake County School Board at its meeting on Tuesday.

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NC Coronavirus update February 14: 5 district school districts to review COVID-19 mask requirements for students and staff

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