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Rockingham Co. School Board votes 4-3 to require masks

The Board of Education called an emergency meeting to discuss "unexpected circumstances" surrounding COVID-19.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Rockingham County School Board reversed its decision on masking for the school year. Students and staff will now have to wear masks in classrooms.

The school board voted 4-3 in favor of a mask mandate during its emergency meeting Friday morning. The vote reversed the board’s original decision last week to make masks optional.

The contentious meeting lasted for two hours. Several parents were given the chance to speak before board members voted. Only two adults and a child said they supported a mask requirement. Everyone else opposed it.  

Health experts who presented at the meeting said they are concerned about rising COVID-19 trends in the county, and the new delta variant which they said is leading to more infection in younger children.

The four board members who voted in favor of masks said their decisions came down to keeping kids in the classrooms.

The county health director said if masks are worn in schools, only students who test positive for COVID-19 would need to quarantine unless another student is asymptomatic.

The school board said it will continue to monitor COVID-19 trends and revisit the mask policy as needed. 

The first day of school in Rockingham County is set for August 23.

RELATED: More than 100 students in Davidson Co. Schools out of classrooms due to COVID

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