Gov. McMaster orders $10M in personal protective equipment for 70 South Carolina school districts

South Carolina News

South Carolina Education Superintendent Molly Spearman, left, addresses the initial gathering of accelerateSC, a group tasked with advising Gov. Henry McMaster, right, on safely scaling the state’s economy back up amid the new coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina will purchase and distribute $10 million worth of personal protection equipment and supplies to 70 school districts to ensure they can safely reopen this fall.

“Getting our children back into the classroom is vital for the continued growth of our state,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Securing this PPE will ensure that each school has the resources needed to succeed in providing a safe environment for both students and faculty.”

The General Assembly allocated $155 million for the state COVID-19 relief fund earlier this week and authorized the governor to direct funds at his discretion to “protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

70 of South Carolina’s 81 districts requested PPE funding.

The state will distribute the following PPE and supplies to the school districts as follows:

  • 248,000         Adult and student masks
  • 600,000         Cloth masks 
  • 80,000           KN95 masks 
  • 150,000         Face shields 
  • 46,000           Gloves 
  • 237,000         Gowns for nurses 
  • 12,000           Cases of disinfecting wipes 
  • 11,000           Gallons of hand sanitizer 

“As school’s welcome back students and staff to classrooms across South Carolina, it is crucial that they have the resources needed to protect against the spread of the coronavirus,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “The statewide order of protective equipment announced today will help ensure that we have the safest learning environments possible.”

Image | Gov. McMaster on Twitter

According to Governor McMaster’s office, the Department of Administration coordinated the procurement of supplies with Superintendent Spearman and the Department of Education, the Department of Transportation, and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

All Lowcountry school districts, except Dorchester District 2, will receive PPE. A spokeswoman for DD2 said they have purchased their own equipment and will be ready for the return to school.

A list of school districts in South Carolina that will receive the equipment is listed below.

25 school districts, including the Berkeley County School District, Dorchester District 4, and Williamsburg County School District, will receive plexi-glass. A full list below.

The Emergency Management Division helped provide masks, safety goggles, and gowns for school nurses.

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