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South Carolina schools won’t require face masks, blames stipulation in state budget

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the South Carolina Department of Education said schools will not be adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for mask use due to a stipulation in the state budget.

State health officials announced on Tuesday that due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the increasing threat of the Delta variant, the CDC is recommending public indoor masking for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. This includes masking for teachers, students, parents and visitors in K-12 schools.

However, state education officials said that South Carolina schools will not be following the recommendation.

“In South Carolina, the General Assembly adopted a budget proviso as part of the 2021-2022 General Appropriations Bill that prevents school districts from requiring face coverings in schools,” SCDE officials said in a statement. “This means that while the use of face coverings and other COVID-19 mitigation strategies may continue to be encouraged in accordance with public health recommendations, South Carolina public schools will not be adopting the CDC’s recommendations for required mask use.”

Today, the CDC announced that they are recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and...

Posted by South Carolina Department of Education on Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Gov. Henry McMaster said the General Assembly agreed with him on prohibiting school administrators from requiring students to wear a mask, and the decision if a student should wear a mask is left up to parents.

McMaster said the Delta variant poses a “real threat” to the state, but shutting down the state, closing schools and mandating masks were not the answer.

”Personal responsibility is. The vaccine works,” the governor said. “If you haven’t decided whether to get vaccinated yet, please talk to your doctors and loved ones and consider all of your options. If you decide to get the vaccine, you can find a convenient location here: bit.ly/3ycV8wy.”

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