CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County School District leaders voted to extend its mask mandate in schools until November 12.

The mask mandate has been in place since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, but district officials began enforcing it in mid-September.

Students who did not comply with the mandate were sent home and could not attend classes.

Religious and medical exemption forms were made available for students who requested them.

The 30-day extension comes as the district saw an 80% decline in COVID-19 cases over the last week. 

Dr. Annie Andrews, an MUSC Associate Professor of Pediatrics said while the numbers are encouraging, we still need to remain very vigilant. Even more, those masks work to keep kids, teachers, and staff safe from more than just COVID-19. 

We know that masking in the classrooms is one of the most important measures we can take and I think it would be very premature to talk about changing our approach to that. So—any decline in numbers has something to do with wearing masks in the classrooms, we need to continue to do that particularly as we enter into flu season. 

Dr. Annie Andrews, MUSC Associate Professor of Pediatrics  

CCSD is able to continue to enforce its mask mandate with the use of its Reserve Funds that were set aside in previous years as opposed to the money allocated by the state in the 2021 school year. 

For more on CCSD’s decision, click here.