Horry County Schools requests thousands of masks from the state, other PPE for reopening

Horry County Schools requests PPE from the state

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - When students in Horry County get back in the classroom a new item will be on the students’ school supply list: a mask.

“Requirements have been put down by the state Department of Education about what is required when it comes to safety precautions and masks is number one,” Horry County Schools spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said.

To make sure students have access to one and teachers don’t have to worry about providing one themselves, the state government has stepped in.

“Of course there’s going to be some parents that can’t afford a mask or a mask may be forgotten, so now we have those extra purchases to assist our families and our students,” Bourcier said.

Gov. Henry McMaster set aside $10 million from the state’s COVID-19 relief money in an effort to keep schools operating with face to face learning.

Bourcier said adding up all the things school districts need to reopen in-person is costly.

“Making sure that everybody that comes in a school building has a mask and keeps that mask on, that becomes expensive,” she said.

The request for thousands of cloth masks, KN95 masks, face shields, disinfectant and even hospital gowns, isn’t going to come out of the school district’s budget.

But the district says there are certain items they are still buying with local money. The district said it’s not because the state won’t supply enough PPE, but because there are certain items they already budgeted to buy, such as hand sanitizer.

Officials with the state Department of Education said right now they don’t know the exact cost of the items requested by HCS. But Bourcier said more than anything, she thinks it’ll make sure students are safe when they return.

“Getting those much needed additional supplies will certainly help us,” she said.

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