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The latest...

Here’s what’s happening now:

NC Governor Roy Cooper announced the anticipated updated guidelines for schools Wednesday. The rules will go into effect 5 p.m. July 30.

The new guidelines were developed based on the CDC’s guidelines for schools and American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, both of which were updated earlier this month.

The guidance in the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit include:
😷 Require masks for younger students and staff at elementary and middle schools when indoors
😷 Require masks for unvaccinated high school students when indoors
😷 High school students and high school teachers who are fully vaccinated aren’t required to wear masks.

The context: A mask requirement is the most contentious; the executive order requiring masks in schools will expire July 30 and there’s currently no penalty for school districts that don’t follow the guidelines.

In Wake County, which has year-round school in session now, some have protested masks in schools at the Wake County school board meetings, WRAL reports.

Other updates: The state guidelines loosened quarantine rules for people exposed to COVID-19 in close proximity.

The updated guidelines also no longer recommend daily symptom screening, limiting nonessential visitors to schools or avoiding field trips or assemblies.

Keep reading: []

What else to know:

🤒 If you get COVID-19, it’s likely the Delta variant: According to Secretary Cohen during the Wednesday briefing, at least 80% of the COVID-19 cases sequenced in NC are the Delta variant now, a more contagious version. 

🏘️ Fact check: Raleigh's City Council did not ban single-family zoning, a change allows more housing types. [INDY Week]

📍The Raleigh Chamber is hosting a State of the City, County and Schools event today. Look for coverage of the event in tomorrow's newsletter. [info]
Message from Raleigh Convergence Membership: 

Raleigh Convergence is free to read, but not free to produce. Individual and corporate memberships help us keep this hyperlocal resource going.
Converging Topic:
For our July-September Converging Topic, or quarterly community-driven content theme, we’re talking local Exploration

We asked you about what types of content you want to see most, and you shared that your top 2 areas of interest are local hidden gems and outdoor activities.

Now we’re asking you for your recommendations to share as a collaborative guide to the place we call home!

💎 What are your top hidden gems around Wake County?
🌳 What are your favorite local outdoor activities and locations?

Reply to this email -- your answers might be included in our future stories! 📩

Bandwidth's massive campus, which broke ground this week on Edwards Mill Road and will be finished in 2023, includes gym facilities, a soccer field (and planned intramural sports), a basketball court, walking trails, a Montessori school (free for employee's children), and an amphitheater. [WRAL TechWire]

Southeast Raleigh Promise's new CEO is Yvette Holmes, who starts Aug. 1. The "quarterback" organization seeks to "break the cycle of intergenerational poverty for individuals, families, and children living in southeast Raleigh." It was most recently led by Kia Baker. [site]

Women- or minority-owned businesses can get more information this afternoon, Aug. 26, Sept. 23 or Oct. 28 on the benefits of of Certification as HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) & DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise). Register for the free virtual meetings here.

Sunflower update: The fields at Dix Park are reaching full bloom as of Wednesday's update. [guide]

Wyatt's Barbecue won't be coming to Gateway Plaza as planned, the News & Observer first reported. [N&O, sub. required🐖
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