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Face coverings to be required in S.C. public schools

Staff Report //August 3, 2020//

Face coverings to be required in S.C. public schools

Staff Report //August 3, 2020//

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Face coverings will be required for students and staff in South Carolina public schools when face-to-face instruction resumes.

The S.C. Department of Education, which announced the requirement Friday, is purchasing five cloth face masks for every teacher, bus driver, custodian and food service worker, according to a news release. The masks will be made readily available on school buses, where face coverings are also required to be worn.

The education department said it has worked with the S.C. Department of Administration and the S.C. Emergency Management Division to place orders for gloves, hand sanitizer and other protective equipment for school districts.  

“As we prepare to welcome students and teachers back to South Carolina classrooms for face-to-face instruction, it is imperative that we implement measures that are proven to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in the release. “Requiring the use of face masks for everyone in our school buildings in combination with other mitigation tactics will help ensure that we have safe learning environments even when optimal social distancing is not feasible.”

The face covering requirement will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which do not require coverings for children younger than 2 years old, those with trouble breathing or those who cannot remove face coverings without assistance.

Spearman also approved 36 school district reopening plans Friday, including Richland County School District One’s plan. Thirty-one district plans, which must meet criteria including both a face-to-face and virtual instruction option, had been previously approved.

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