DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- 8:57 p.m.
The Durham Public Schools Board of Education voted 4-2 in a meeting this afternoon to recommend rather than require the wearing of face coverings across the district.
The new policy will go into effect effective April 11.
The board issued a statement saying:
"Our ultimate objective is to keep our students and staff healthy," said Dr. Pascal Mubenga, DPS Superintendent. "We appreciate the cooperation of families and employees who have complied with our masking requirements in the interest of safety, and continue to recommend masks as an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We strongly encourage families of students who are not yet vaccinated to do so. We will continue to partner with county and state public health leaders to ensure that we respond appropriately if conditions change."
COVID-19 mask policies have been abating. Thursday, two more areas could begin to roll back mask mandates.
CEOs from all major US airlines are now calling on President Joe Biden to lift the federal mask mandate on public transportation.
The group includes the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta and United. They say the current restrictions--like mask mandates and international pre-departure testing--no longer align with what experts say is necessary.
That federal mask mandate is already expected to expire on April 18, but these industry leaders hope to sway the administration to relax the rules sooner.
Meanwhile, Durham Public Schools remains one of the last school districts in North Carolina to still require masks in classrooms.
DPS leaders will meet Thursday to debate ending the mask mandate. The district loosened its policies on March 16--making masks optional for outdoor activities.
Some parents have pushed back, urging DPS to lift mask mandates in favor of a voluntary masking policy. School board members begin their meeting at 6:30 p.m. Stay with ABC11.com for updates.