By Nicole Collins, Co-Editor
In a S.C. Department of Education (SCDE) release from Friday, state superintendent Molly Spearman instituted a face mask requirement for students and staff in public schools.
“As we prepare to welcome students and teachers back to South Carolina classrooms for face to face instruction, it is imperative that we implement measures that are proven to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said in the release. “Requiring the use of face masks for everyone in our school buildings in combination with other mitigation tactics will help ensure that we have safe learning environments even when optimal social distancing is not feasible.”
The education department is purchasing five cloth masks for every teacher, bus driver, custodian and food service worker.
Additionally the SCDE has worked with the S.C. Department of Administration and S.C. Emergency Management Division to place large statewide orders for masks, face shields, gowns, gloves, flexiglass, hand sanitizer and other protective equipment for the schools.
In a Facebook post from Monday, Spartanburg School District 4 provided additional specifics on how face covering would be worn at Woodruff schools based on SCDE guidelines.
Students and staff must wear a face mask when entering a school building, moving through hallways, during carline, and whenever social distancing is not possible.
Students attending in-person instruction under the hybrid model will not be required to wear a mask inside a classroom or during special activities outside the classroom. Teachers will determine if a mask is needed based on the activity and proximity of the students.
Following the Center of Disease Prevention’s guidelines, face masks are not required for children younger than two, those who have trouble breathing and anyone who is incapacitated or unable to remove the covering without assistance.