Those in North Carolina public school buildings will now be required to wear masks at all times.

RALEIGH — State officials recently changed protocols for the return of students to public schools in the fall, and students will now have to wear masks even if they are farther than six feet away from others.

The state’s StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit previously stated that schools were to ensure that all of those in the school — students, teachers, staff and adult visitors — wear face coverings when “they are or may be within six feet of another person.”

The current toolkit omits that language and now makes mask wearing mandatory at all times unless the person — or family member for a student — states that an exception applies, is eating or is engaged in strenuous physical activity. Masks will also be mandatory for those on a bus or other transportation vehicle, unless the person — or family member for a student — states that an exception applies.

The state’s guidance also mentions building in time throughout the day when students and staff can take breaks from wearing their masks.

Questions about the StrongSchoolsNC Public Heath Toolkit for K-12 should be directed to (in English or in Spanish). To view the toolkit, visit For the toolkit’s frequently asked questions page, visit

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