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Mask mandate lifted for Charleston County School District students and staff

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:05 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 1:11 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On Wednesday, students and staff in the Charleston County School District will be able to walk into their classrooms mask-free.

The district voted to lift the mask mandate at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Following the decision to lift the mask mandate, the district spokesperson Andy Pruitt says there have been 0 requests for students to move to the virtual option. Of the 50,000 students in the district, less than 400 students are learning virtually.

If students did request to switch to the virtual option, Cindy Ambrose with the Low County Virtual

Academy says they currently have the capacity to accept additional students, but it “varies depending upon grade level.”

So, based on the current protocols, the classroom will look almost exactly like it did pre-pandemic. Pruitt says there are no capacity limits in the classroom, but there are still cleaning and quarantine protocols in place.

The district is reporting just 8 COVID-19 cases this week and 40 last week.

The decision to remove the mask mandate relied on COVID-19 numbers reported by DHEC and MUSC showing the infection rates at just over 3%.

Pruitt says there’s no specific threshold that would bring back the mask mandate, but it can be brought back by the Board of Trustees if they see numbers going in the wrong direction.

“We’re not making these decisions on our own. We’re not doing these things on our own,” Pruitt said. “So I think that should give parents a lot of confidence that everything that we have in place, everything that we’re doing, is being done in conjunction with medical advice.”

Masks are still required on school buses.

The district plans to start offering COVID 19 vaccines for school-aged kids with parents’ consent next week. They’ll be available at ten after-school clinics.

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