CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – School is back, or nearly back, in session for many students across the Lowcountry after winter break. Dorchester District Two (DD2) was set to resume Monday but canceled school because of severe weather, while Charleston and Berkeley County School Districts resume on Tuesday.

CCSD leaders implemented a mask mandate that will be in effect from January 4th-14th for all students and staff due to the county’s high COVID-19 incidence rate.

District leaders said if waivers were approved and granted for students earlier this year, those waivers will still be in place next month.

“New face mask exemptions will not be processed until of and when the mask requirement starts,” officials said.

News 2 reached out to DD2 and BCSD concerning mask policies or any changes that could be made.

A representative with DD2 provided the following statement:

In accordance with DDTwo face cover policy, masks are strongly encouraged for the health and safety of students, staff and families in Dorchester School District Two, but not required. There is no discussion at this time concerning changes.

Dorchester District Two

BCSD has a similar policy in place. Masks are encouraged, not required. A representative with BCSD tells News 2 no changes will be made at this time.

Back in Charleston County, additional precautions are still being taken in addition to the mask mandate.

The district offered free COVID-19 testing over the weekend and on Monday for students and staff. COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been ongoing throughout the year, upgraded air filtration systems have been in schools since much earlier in the pandemic, and the district’s medical staff continues their efforts with contact tracing should in the event of exposure to the virus.

All school districts say the safety of students and staff is a top priority.

For more about CCSDs efforts against COVID-19, click here. For DD2, click here. For BCSD, click here.