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State recommends masks for K-8 students and unvaccinated high schoolers
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State recommends masks for K-8 students and unvaccinated high schoolers

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Students and staff members in K-8 schools should wear masks indoors for the opening of the 2021-22 school year, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

In addition, unvaccinated high-school students and staff members should wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced an update to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services' Toolkit, which serves as guidance for local school districts, on Wednesday. 

The announcement comes on a day when the state recorded 1,439 new cases, the highest case count since mid-May.

"We know masks work," Cooper said. "If the pandemic worsens and additional action is necessary, we'll take it."

The vaccination rate among people ages 12 to 17 is about 25% statewide. 

The vaccine is not available for students under 12.

"We're going to work with individual schools and school districts. We're trying to be clear to local school districts, 'You should do this,'" said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. DHHS. "We know what protocols work."

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@lisaodonnellWSJ

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