Both the Watauga and Ashe County Boards met Monday and renewed the mask mandates for students and staff.

The Watauga County Board of Education voted to continue the mask mandate for students and staff in Watauga schools. The Watauga Democrat reports there was no discussion and the approval was part of the board's consent agenda during Monday's meeting. The mandate was originaly put in place at the August 9 meeting, and state law requires school boards to revisit the mandate each month. According to the report, there were two citizens who spoke during the public comment period after the consent agenda was passed, who voiced concern that the mandate was renewed before comments were heard. The board will revisit the mandate again at its next meeting, October 11.

The Ashe County Board of Education met on Monday and voted to continue the mask mandate in Ashe Schools by a 3-2 vote. The Ashe Post and Times reports the board deliberated for two hours on both the mandate and the new option of pool testing, that would allow athletic teams to be tested on Mondays, getting their results back by Wednesday and then offering rapid testing if a positive case is found. The Board tabled the pool testing but continued the mask mandate.