It's the absolute wrong time for NC schools to lift mask mandates

Welcome to NC Voices, where leaders, readers and experts from across North Carolina can speak on issues affecting our communities. Send submissions of 300 words or fewer to

Reinstate school mask mandates

Regarding “Do the ‘rewards outweigh the risks’? More NC schools are dropping face mask mandate,” (Nov. 25):

At least 39 out of 115 school districts in North Carolina have made masks at school optional, according to the N.C. School Boards Association database. For many, the switch took effect after Thanksgiving break.

However, only 6% of counties in the state have COVID transmission rates that are low to moderate. In fact, the article states, “All 39 mask-optional districts are in counties with high or severe COVID community transmission rates.”

Why then are so many North Carolina schools dropping mask mandates now? Because parents are complaining? Because they are sick and tired of COVID and masks? Certainly not because they care about keeping students and communities safe.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services still suggests masks to be mandatory inside schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in their latest Children and COVID-19: State-Level Data Report, wrote “This week nearly 142,000 child cases were added, an increase of about 32% from two weeks ago. …For the 15th week in a row child COVID-19 cases are above 100,000..”

These numbers are moving upwards.

The Children’s Hospital Association is also in agreement that cases of COVID-19 in children are at extremely high levels. Now is not the time to drop masks.

Children ages 5 and up just became eligible to get vaccinated. Those who elected to get the vaccine when it became available in mid-November haven’t reached full immunity.

Without a COVID-19 vaccination, masks are a child’s only protection against the virus. School boards need to listen to the experts and drop mask mandates only when numbers show that it is safe to do so.

So far, 779,293 Americans have died of COVID-19. Do the “rewards outweigh the risks”? No.

Will Lester, Cornelius

Cooper must veto this anti-voter bill

Every eligible voter in North Carolina should have the opportunity to vote and have their ballot counted — including North Carolinians who find themselves unexpectedly ill, or who have to travel last-minute for work.

Unfortunately, the N.C. General Assembly has once again decided to create barriers to voting by reinstating restrictive ballot delivery deadlines that they themselves voted to expand 12 years ago.

A bill recently passed by the N.C. legislature shortens the delivery time absentee ballots can be received and counted. Absentee ballots sent on time should be counted, even when the U.S. mail is running slower than we would like.

If Senate Bill 326 had been in effect in 2020, 11,000 ballots would have been tossed out. People argue that they have not heard of someone’s vote not being counted, but this would certainly be the case if these ballots were thrown out.

Shortening the allowed delivery will cause massive confusion among voters accustomed to the 3-day delivery grace period. It removes the grace period voters have grown accustomed to. What once provided a sense of relief to those with last-minute emergencies, could now become an added stress.

If SB 326 is allowed to stand, voters can no longer feel confident that their ballot will arrive in time even when they complete and deliver it to the post office on Election Day.

The pandemic is not over. We continue to see delays in mail service. These delays should not prevent North Carolinians from having their vote counted.

Limiting mail-in ballots is another attempt to rewrite the 2020 election and discount the more than 1 million N.C. voters who used this option.

Absentee voting is a choice for busy North Carolinians who value the flexibility it affords. More importantly, it has served as a fail-safe protection for voters who have last-minute family emergencies or illness.

Unfortunately, this option is being whittled away by our legislature. Life is full of surprises. Having your ballot thrown out should not be one of them. We call on Gov. Roy Cooper to veto SB326.

Cheryl Tung

President, League of Women Voters of Wake County

Gerald D. Givens Jr.

President, NAACP of Raleigh-Apex

News Related


World Heart Federation charity is accused of cherry-picking facts for its danger of drinking report

The World Heart Federation (WHF) last week published a hard-hitting pamphletIt covered the dangers of drinking which warned alcohol increases heart risksCited a 2018 study, published in The Lancet, quoting figures on how much higher researchers found the risks of various cardiovascular conditions in drinkers But Cambridge University statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said this was not an accurate portrayal of the study  Read more »

Dutch masterpiece: Discovering how tiny Assen is pulling in crowds after trumping London to stage 2022's most coveted art show

Two of the world's leading collections devoted to Frida Kahlo have come together for the first time in Assen The exhibition at Drents Museum features 42 of the Mexican artist's works alongside personal belongingsIt has attracted more than 10,000 visitors every week since it was opened in October Read more »

Great British boltholes: The brilliant restaurant with rooms in Bury St Edmunds set within a Victorian villa that's had a chic makeover

James Litston checks in to The Northgate, which is a stone’s-throw from Bury's 1,000-year-old abbey  'A sense of playful opulence is apparent the moment you step inside', he writesThe hotel serves seasonal East Anglian fare such as Norfolk asparagus, Suffolk tomatoes and salt marsh lamb Read more »

Top City analyst says car firm Aston Martin may have to tap shareholders for fresh funds for a fourth time

Luxury car firm Aston Martin Lagonda may have to tap shareholders for fresh funds for a fourth time, a top City analyst has said.  James Congdon, who runs the Quest ... Read more »

Warisan unveils first peninsular lawmaker among recruits

© Provided by Malay Mail Teratai assemblyman Bryan Lai Wai Chong has joined Parti Warisan Sabah. — Picture from Facebook/Bryan Lai KOTA KINABALU, Jan 22- Warisan tonight landed its first ... Read more »

'Tiada pihak yang menang jika dibiarkan berterusan'

© Provided by Sinar Harian ISU yang melanda arena badminton negara membabitkan Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), pemain perseorangan lelaki, Lee Zii JIa dan perseorangan wanita, Goh Jin Wei perlu diselesaikan ... Read more »

'Masa depan saya di Manchester City bergantung kepada keputusan'

© Provided by Sinar Harian PENGENDALI Manchester City, Pep Guardiola berkata, dia berkemungkinan membuat keputusan mengenai masa depannya pada akhir musim, namun menjelaskan tidak akan mengkhianati kelab itu. “Saya tidak ... Read more »

Tok Gajah lalui perubahan berperingkat

© Provided by Sinar Harian KEKECEWAAN musim lalu menjadi motivasi buat pertahanan Sri Pahang FC, Nicholas Swirad yang mengharapkan 2022 akan menjadi detik kebangkitan semula Tok Gajah untuk menjadi antara ... Read more »

Vidakovic ganti Zainal Abidin di Melaka United

© Provided by Sinar Harian MELAKA United mengumumkan pelantikan ketua jurulatih baharu, Risto Vidakovic dari Bosnia Herzegovina bagi menggantikan Zainal Abidin Hassan. Melaka United memaklumkan pengalaman luas Vidakovic diharap akan ... Read more »

'BAM bukan syarikat komersial': Najib

© Provided by Sinar Harian BEKAS Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menasihatkan Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) mencari penyelesaian secara baik bagi menyelesaikan pertikaian semasa dengan pemain kebangsaan Lee ... Read more »

Kazakhstan holding hundreds for terrorism and disorder

© Provided by New Straits Times NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan said Saturday it was holding more than 460 people on terrorism and disorder charges in the wake of mass unrest that ... Read more »

Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon playing it ‘cool' with mergers

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon appears to be patiently waiting for overheated asset prices of potential merger partners to cool off. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Goldman Sachs has been looking to do ... Read more »

Cowboys DC Dan Quinn continues interview tour with Bears, Giants next

© Provided by Cowboys Wire The Cowboys’ season run came to a screeching and sudden halt last Sunday, but Dan Quinn has kept himself awfully busy since then. The defensive ... Read more »

Jimmy Garoppolo kills 49ers' first good drive with inexcusable interception

© Provided by Touchdown Wire When you make a mistake in an important football game, the only thing do to is to move on to the next play. This has ... Read more »

Did Packers get screwed on overturned fumble call vs. 49ers?

© Provided by Fansided The Green Bay thought they recovered a Brandon Aiyuk fumble but the refs overturned the call in favor of the 49ers. Did the Packers get screwed? ... Read more »

Google Faces Potential Lawsuit For Ending Free 'G Suite' Service: Here's Why

© Provided by Indiatimes Google’s woes aren’t ending anytime soon. As the global crackdown on Big Tech continues, Google is now looking at potential class-action lawsuits for shutting down free ... Read more »

Dusan Vlahovic prefers move to Arsenal's rival after £50m offer

© Provided by Metro Arsenal have launched a bid for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic (NurPhoto via Getty) Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic is holding out for a move to Manchester City ... Read more »

Punjab polls: Sanyukt Samaj Morcha nominates Lakha Sidhana as candidate from Maur

Punjab polls: Sanyukt Samaj Morcha nominates Lakha Sidhana as candidate from Maur Sanyukt Samaj Morcha, a political front launched by 22 farmers’ unions to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in ... Read more »

Republic Day celebrations begin today: PM Modi to install Netaji's hologram statue at India Gate

In a first, India will begin the Republic Day celebrations from January 23, Sunday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi installing a hologram statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India ... Read more »

Katie Price arrested for allegedly breaking terms of restraining order - police

Katie Price could face jail time after she was arrested on suspicion of breaching a restraining order. © PA Katie Price was hit with a restraining order in 2019. File ... Read more »

‘Give & take': How Assam & Meghalaya struck an agreement on a 50-year-old boundary dispute

Guwahati: After several months, the governments of Assam and Meghalaya have come up with a draft resolution to resolve their border disputes in six of the 12 “areas of difference” ... Read more »

Australia live news update: nearly identical return-to-school plans for NSW and Victoria; no rapid tests for Qld students; 58 Covid deaths recorded

LIVE – Updated at 02:51 Read more »

Male arrested for suspected drug offence after foot chase

A male has been arrested for suspected possession with intent to supply drugs (PWITS) following a foot chase in the SE28 area. Violence Suppression Unit (VSU) officers at Greenwich arrested ... Read more »

Exams without books and Google? They're too hard, say uni students

University students are in uproar over plans to return to traditional in-person exams this year because it will require them to ‘memorise large quantities of information’. Several institutions plan to ... Read more »

Barcelona terlepas khidmat Fati

© Provided by Sinar Harian PEMAIN sayap Barcelona, Ansu Fati akan berehat panjang selepas mengalami kecederaan serius ketika perlawanan Piala Raja Sepanyol menentang Athletic Bilbao sebelum ini. Perkara tersebut disahkan ... Read more »

Women’s Ashes 2022 third T20: Australia v England – live!

© Photograph: Matt Turner/AAP Australia play England in the third and final T20 of the Women’s Ashes multi-format series at Adelaide Oval. Play starts at 1:40pm in Adelaide, 2:10pm AEDT, ... Read more »

Tiada kuota khas tambahan pekerja asing dikeluarkan: Hamzah

© Provided by Sinar Harian LARUT – Tiada kuota khas dikeluarkan di peringkat menteri kepada mana-mana pihak bagi mendapatkan tambahan pekerja asing, kata Menteri Dalam Negeri, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin. ... Read more »

Tandukan Buendia tenggelamkan Everton di Goodison Park

© Provided by Sinar Harian ASTON Villa memperbaiki kedudukan dalam saingan Liga Perdana Inggeris (EPL) apabila melakar kemenangan 1-0 semasa bertandang ke Goodison Park menentang Everton selepas era Rafa Benitez. ... Read more »

Tun M disahkan berada di dalam CCU

© Provided by Sinar Harian KUALA LUMPUR – Bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad disahkan berada di Unit Rawatan Koronari (CCU), Institut Jantung Negara pada Sabtu. Perkara tersebut dimaklumkan ... Read more »

Delhi-NCR wakes up to light rains, temperature dip; showers likely to continue: IMD

© Provided by DNA The residents of Delhi experienced a morning chill once again as the national capital continued to receive light rainfall on Sunday (January 23, 2022). The MeT ... Read more »

Evan McPherson had awesome quote before his winning kick

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Bengals kicker Evan McPherson celebrates after kicking the game-winning 52-yard field goal to defeat the Tennessee Titans 19-16 on Saturday. Evan McPherson was one of ... Read more »

Mike Vrabel not burying Ryan Tannehill despite bad game

© Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions in Tennessee’s loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. Ryan Tannehill played poorly and cost ... Read more »

Packers Fans Aren’t Happy With Controversial Incomplete Pass Call

© Provided by The Spun A general view of Lambeau Field during a Green Bay Packers game. It wouldn’t be an NFL playoff game without at least one fanbase unhappy ... Read more »

Bengals kicker Evan McPherson confidently told Joe Burrow he’d make game-winning 52-yarder

© Provided by For The Win Talk about rising to the occasion! Cincinnati Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson stepped into the biggest moment of his football career and handled it ... Read more »

Trent Williams Going in Motion and Pancaking Dudes Was Incredible

© Provided by The Big Lead Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers | Michael Zagaris/GettyImages Points have been at a premium in Green Bay during the first half as the ... Read more »

NFL World Reacts To Troy Aikman’s Performance Tonight

© Provided by The Spun Dallas Cowboys quarterback legend Troy Aikman. Last week, Troy Aikman called a snoozer of a playoff game between the Buccaneers and Eagles. He got a ... Read more »

Has Chrissie Swan lost even MORE weight? Comedian looks slimmer than ever as she steps out with friend Ash Williams in Melbourne

She’s been on a weight loss journey since quitting alcohol in 2020.  And Chrissie Swan, 48, looked slimmer than ever as she stepped out with her good pal and fellow ... Read more »

Texas AG Ken Paxton could face a lawsuit after missing a prosecutor's deadline to hand over documents tied to his appearance at Trump's rally before the Capitol riot

© AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, left, next to his wife and Texas State Sen. Angela Paxton, speaks to anti-abortion activists at a rally outside the Supreme ... Read more »

Horoscope Today, January 23, Sunday: These 2 Zodiac Signs Should be Careful About Their Jobs

© KS Swati | Pandit Jagannath Guruji Representational Pictures. Horoscope Today, January 23, Sunday: A little sneak-peak on how your day will go does no harm. Want to know what’s ... Read more »

The best Sony WH-CH700N headphones deals 2022

© Provided by What Hi-Fi? The best Sony WH-CH700N headphones deals 2022 Bluetooth? Tick. Noise-cancelling tech? Tick. Solid sound quality? Tick. And they don’t even break the bank to boot. ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic