Currituck BOE votes to require masks in school

By on August 27, 2021

Move reverses previous policy of optional masking

With 11 positive COVD-19 cases and 140 quarantines in county schools in the first five days of the new school year, the Currituck County Board of Education voted unanimously on Aug. 27 to reverse its July vote and mandate masks in its buildings effective Monday Aug. 30. The mask mandate will apply to indoor school events as well.

The board’s special meeting to revisit the masking policy was held virtually. A key argument for going to universal masking was fear over COVID transmission and quarantines removing students from the classroom.

“With it just being the first week of school, and for us to have 140 students quarantined, to me that’s just a snapshot into how this thing is gonna snowball,” Board Chair Karen Etheridge asserted. “I want to get [students] back in the classroom, and if it takes putting masks on every student, then I’m in favor of that because we cannot continue to have our students’ learning in jeopardy.”

The board voted following a presentation by Superintendent Matthew Lutz, who made the recommendation that the board reverse its earlier vote that allowed masks to be optional. Citing that on average, students are quarantined for 10 days, he said that the current quarantines amount to 1,400 instructional days for the current 140 students who are now quarantined.

Following the vote, Etheridge stated that, “In the interest of our children, we have voted to keep the students engaged in in-person learning while wearing masks.”

In neighboring Dare County, the Board of Education will meet on Sept. 1 to revisit its decision earlier this month to also allow mask wearing to be optional in schools.





  • Pembroke Bryant

    And there you have it… ‘a key argument for going forward with universal masking was FEAR…’

    Friday, Aug 27 @ 5:53 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Pembroke, aside from taking the quote out of context, I will say that fear is sometimes not a bad thing. If you fear the car traveling toward you at 50 miles an hour, you might wisely decide not to cross the street.

    Friday, Aug 27 @ 9:40 pm
  • Billsnc

    Well and almost every single MD, infectious disease expert, epidemiologist etc saying it’s the best thing to do…..

    Friday, Aug 27 @ 10:02 pm
  • Jeff Walker

    Well at least it only took about a dozen cases and 140 quarantines for them to figure out what anyone with half a lick of sense said exactly would happen. Some folks can only learn by touching the red hot stove.

    Friday, Aug 27 @ 11:38 pm
  • Joe King

    After a week long experiment to see how many kids could get sick the BOE blinked and did the right thing, certainly the most unpopular thing, but the right thing.
    I can’t wait to see the parental circus that results.

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 6:23 am
  • Steve

    Putting our children’s safety first isn’t fear…it’s being responsible. Wearing a mask is still the parent’s decision, along with home schooling…

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 7:21 am
  • Jimbo

    This is a direct, ongoing affront to all of our personal freedoms, Libs!!

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 8:49 am
  • Vaxxed and masked

    So sick of selfish people screaming about their personal freedoms. If you get covid from being unvaxxed and unmasked DO NOT call EMS and take an ICU hospital bed away from a heart attack, stroke , gall bladder etc patient! Think about the Doctors and nurses and the children not yourself all the time.

    Saturday, Aug 28 @ 4:00 pm
  • slim jim

    Well it almost eradicated the flu last year. So Win Win.. No more flu this year.

    Sunday, Aug 29 @ 4:53 pm
  • Lucas

    slim jim,

    The flu was not eradicated last year, flu cases were just reported as Covid…

    Monday, Aug 30 @ 8:34 am
  • southern neighbor

    personal freedoms, ha, give me a break. out of everything that you feel like our government controls about you, you select mask wearing to complain about. something that is for health safety. and save your sad ‘masks and vaccines don’t work’ line for your anti american chat rooms please

    Monday, Aug 30 @ 7:59 pm