South Carolina says its schools can’t follow CDC mask advice

South Carolina News

FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, file photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, left, and state Education Superintendent Molly Spearman, right, talk about a Senate proposal to get teachers COVID-19 vaccines immediately, in Columbia, S.C. A budget proviso that went into effect July 1 prohibits school districts in South Carolina from using appropriated funds “to require that its students and/or employees wear a face mask at any of its education facilities.” The measure was backed by Gov. McMaster. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina education officials say they can’t follow updated federal guidelines recommending indoor mask use at schools nationwide, even for vaccinated students.

Legislation that went into effect July 1 prohibits school districts in South Carolina from using appropriated funds “to require that its students and/or employees wear a face mask.”

The measure was backed by Gov. Henry McMaster.

Earlier this year, the Republican called it “the height of ridiculosity” for a district to require a mask over any parent’s wishes.

Cases of COVID-19 have been rising across the nation and South Carolina’s vaccination rates have been among the lowest in the country.

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