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SC education dept. to enforce mask mandate on school buses

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:31 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Education announced Thursday morning it will again enforce a mask mandate on school buses.

The agency says school districts must be in compliance with the order by Monday.

“It has become apparent based on COVID-19 data being reported by schools along with increasing levels of the highly transmissible Delta variant in local communities, that more protective measures are needed to lower the risk of virus transmission and keep our schools open and operating as safely as possible,” the department said in a letter to school district superintendents and transportation directors.

The agency said it would equip all state-owned school buses with an adequate supply of face coverings that meet CDC order requirements.

“If a student boards a bus without a face covering, bus drivers should offer the student a face covering,” the letter states. “However, no student should be denied transportation for failing to adhere to the CDC Order.”

The agency initially announced in July it would no longer enforce the CDC’s Jan. 29 order requiring the use of face coverings by people on public transportation, which included school buses. It gave school district’s the option to enforce the mandate on their own if they wished to do so.

But it announced Thursday morning the decision to again enforce the order “in an effort to mitigate virus transmission and keep our schools open and operating as safely as possible.”

Parents can email complaints and concerns to: info@ed.sc.gov

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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