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North Carolina schools see major COVID spread as year begins

Spread is particularly bad in places where mask wearing is optional.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Author's note: the video above first aired on Aug. 11, 2021.

North Carolina K-12 public school districts are seeing high levels of COVID-19 transmission as the new academic years gets underway. 

Spread is particularly bad in places where mask wearing is optional. 

Dozens of districts entering the school year without a mask mandate have reversed course, but a few holdouts still remain. 

Roughly 1 in 8 pupils at Union County Public Schools were under quarantine last week after the district decided not to require masks. 

The state's largest school system, Wake County, forces pupils to wear a face covering. Less than 1% of its students are currently under quarantine.

About 95% of K-12 public school students in the state are currently covered by a mask mandate.

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