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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Lincoln County Joins Growing List Of School Districts Requiring Masks

Lincoln County has joined the growing list of school districts that require masks for all staff and students, starting Wednesday. The district northwest of Charlotte says the reversal of its mask-optional plan is based on high community spread of COVID-19.

Other Charlotte-area districts that have recently abandoned mask-optional policies include Cabarrus and Gaston counties, as well as Kannapolis, Mooresville and Hickory city schools. The Union County school board, one of the first to announce masks would not be required, is meeting Wednesday night to reconsider its COVID-19 safety plan.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, along with North Carolina's other large urban districts, approved a mandatory mask policy from the beginning.

Most North Carolina schools open Monday. Some that opened early, such as Mooresville Graded Schools and Union Academy charter school, quickly added mask mandates as COVID-19 cases broke out.

According to the North Carolina School Boards Association's running tally, 70 of the state's 115 districts currently require masks.

South Carolina schools opened this week, with a state ban on mandatory mask policies for schools. Some districts are defying that ban, saying universal face coverings are needed to keep staff and students safe in classrooms.

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