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WATCH NOW: NC's mask mandate will still end this week. Gov. encourages people to keep them on.
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WATCH NOW: NC's mask mandate will still end this week. Gov. encourages people to keep them on.

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A statewide mask mandate will lapse Friday, but Gov. Roy Cooper said the state strongly encourages North Carolinians to follow the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control.

That includes universal masking in K-12 schools and the recommendation that everyone — vaccinated or not — wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

North Carolina also has updated its official recommendations to schools for the upcoming school year. It now follows the CDC guidance and encourages students and staff to wear masks regardless of grade level or vaccination status.

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Early Monday, the Union County school board voted 8-1 to immediately stop COVID-19 contact tracing and significantly curtail coronavirus quarantine requirements. Against advice of Union County’s health department as well as state and federal recommendations on reducing COVID-19 risks in classrooms, the school district will not require quarantine for students even if they’ve been in contact ...

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