Doctors encourage masks in schools despite governor’s order prohibiting mask requirements

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The CDC is now recommending people to wear masks indoors again even if you are fully vaccinated and this means decision for schools just weeks before the school year begins.

With the start of the school year less than a month away COVID-19 is on the mind of parents as cases are on the rise.

“The students, staff and visitors of our schools will adopt the recommendations for science-based measures that will protect them from the spread of the disease,” says Dr. Linda Bell, a epidemiologist with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

With thousands of new cases on the rise in South Carolina, Dr. Elizabeth Mack with MUSC says updated national recommendations on mask wearing creates a new outlook on how students and staff go back to school.

Statistics show about half of South Carolinians are fully vaccinated, but going back to mask mandates at school isn’t an option because Governor Henry McMaster banned the requirements.

“We have our COVID-19 dashboard that we monitor daily to kind of track where our internal case activity is going whether its trending up or down, and we will continue to do that in the fall,” Amanda Santamaria, District Nurse Coordinator for Dorchester District 2.

Medical experts say masks and staying vigilant is the safest way to have students and staff get back to school in the fall.

“It’s really important for parents to understand the science and know that masking is the best option for kids older than 2 years of age,” Dr. Mack says.

Officials with Charleston County School District, DD2, Berkeley County School District and Colleton County School District say they are continuing to update their masks and COVID-19 protocols with the help from medical experts and state health guidelines.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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