RALEIGH, NC — North Carolina health officials on Tuesday released a report showing 170 ongoing COVID-19 clusters in K-12 schools or child care settings.
While the state Department of Health and Human Services said it does not have data on the number of pupils quarantined statewide or the share of those forced to miss school without a remote learning option, districts without mask-wearing requirements are seeing substantially more spread of the virus and hours of lost learning among students.
Union County Public Schools, which voted down a proposal last month to require mask wearing in the state’s sixth-largest public school district, reported about one in 8 of the more than 41,000 students in the district were under quarantine, as of Friday. The more than 5,200 students were placed under quarantine after 337 pupils tested positive for the virus last week.
Meanwhile, the Wake County Public School System, where masks are mandatory and which is four times larger