Lake Norman Charter School adapts to recent mask guidance from CDC, Mecklenburg County

The CDC is no longer requiring masks on school buses
As of Feb. 21, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is no longer recommending individual contact tracing in K-12 schools.
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 7:10 PM EST
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HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - Between state, local and federal updates on masks and other COVID-19 measures - schools are adapting and adjusting their own protocols more frequently.

As of Feb. 21, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is no longer recommending individual contact tracing in K-12 schools.

The department also recommends students and staff no longer be required to stay home from school following a COVID-19 exposure unless they have symptoms or test positive.

Lake Norman Charter School (LNCS) is a public K-12 school located in Mecklenburg County. This school system has about 2,200 students.

The Mecklenburg County mask mandate ended on Feb. 26, which also applies to schools, unless the districts voted to keep masks in place after that date.

LNCS was mask-optional starting Monday.

“We did talk a lot with our families, our staff, and our students about recognizing and respecting that everybody is in a different place and may have different backgrounds and personal impacts because of COVID,” Superintendent Shannon Stein.

Superintendent Shannon Stein says she’s thankful more healthy students can stay in school now after the state updated its quarantine guidance after exposures.

“We very much appreciate that things have changed in a positive way to allow us to do that, because we’ve seen a complete difference in how they’re able to interact and grow as students with them being in a school setting,” she said.

As of Feb. 25, the CDC is also no longer requiring masks on school buses for public or private schools- a change Stein says she thought they had to wait longer for.

“What we will do is if that is now a federal guideline we will defer to our board that that is now a mask optional, so students can continue to wear their masks on the bus, but if it’s not mandated we will provide that flexibility as well.”

Stein says they do have shuttles and the mask policy on those shuttles is up to the independent shuttle services; however, Steins says they will follow the updated CDC guidance for their activity buses.

Stein says the recent changes from federal and state health organizations can be confusing -- which is why school staff are constantly communicating with families.

“What we’re doing is we’re still informing our families weekly of any type of infections in the school so that they’re still able to track that,” she said.

As the school year continues, Stein says they’re keeping tabs on all the changes - and doing their part to keep students safe while learning in person.

“They’ve really adjusted to try to get schools back to the most normal operations possible which is obviously in the best interest of our students and staff while still providing the opportunity for those who want that extra layer of protection to wear masks and so we just want to support where people are at based on their personal family’s circumstances and beliefs,” she said.

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education voted Monday night to make masks optional for students on buses.

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