Wake County Schools

Wake schools lay down new lunch rules to limit coronavirus spread

Posted February 9, 2021 1:14 p.m. EST
Updated February 9, 2021 2:40 p.m. EST

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— No more homemade cupcakes in the school cafeteria and no talking at lunch are some of the new rules the Wake County Public School System is implementing to limit the spread of coronavirus as more students resume in-person instruction.

All students and staff will have to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others while eating. That means some students will eat in the cafeteria, while others will eat in classrooms. Principals may modify eating locations or schedules for their schools to maximize the use of available space and staffing.

To minimize the amount of time students have their faces uncovered, they won't be allowed to take their masks off until everyone in their area is seated with food packages open and ready to eat. Then, everyone will remove their masks at the same time to start eating, and everyone will have at least 20 minutes to finish eating.

Students shouldn't socialize or talk with others while their masks are off, and they need to put their masks back on as soon as they finish eating.

If parents want to send food or drinks to be shared with students, teachers or staff, to celebrate a birthday, for example, it must be commercially bought and pre-packaged in individual containers with disposable utensils.

When high schools return to in-person classes, students won't have off-campus lunch privileges, provided the school’s campus has enough room to accommodate everyone with proper distancing.

Any student who needs a drink of water during the school day will need to request a water break, and the school will designate an area for the student to drink so at least 6 feet of distance from others can be maintained.

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