CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On Monday afternoon, the Charleston County School District Board of Trustees suspended its districtwide mask mandate which was set to expire on March 14.
This comes as data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shows a drop in COVID-19 cases across the state compared to last month.
The mask policy required students and staff to wear a mask while in district buildings.
The board most recently voted at the beginning of January to extend the mask mandate until March 14, however at the committee of the whole meeting a few weeks ago, six of the eight board members voted to bring up the mask policy at Monday’s meeting.
According to the district’s website, the mask mandate was intended to be in effect when DHEC rates COVID-19 disease activity in Charleston as “Medium” or “High”. DHEC’s latest data rates Charleston County as having “Medium” recent disease activity.
Charleston County School District was one of the last districts in the area to require masks. Dorchester District 4, Dorchester District 2 and Berkeley County all do not require face coverings. Colleton County Schools still does.
Monday’s mask policy discussion comes just a few days after the CDC announced it is loosening mask guidelines for most people, and the vast majority of Americans can stop wearing masks inside.
The CDC is still advising people to wear masks where the risk of COVID-19 is high. That includes schoolchildren.
This also comes after DHEC has updated its guidance for schools and childcare centers. The agency now suggests transitioning to managing COVID-19 as an endemic and says schools and childcare centers can suspend test to stay, contract tracing and masking of close contacts without symptoms, depending on COVID case numbers.
Monday’s board meeting agenda also shows the board is set to discuss the superintendent search after former superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait resigned in December.
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