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.