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Florence School District One to require masks in classrooms, buses

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 9:25 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Another Pee Dee school district has voted to require masks.

The Florence School District 1 board unanimously passed a mask requirement during a meeting Thursday evening. The mandate goes into effect Friday and applies to indoor school facilities and buses.

It does not apply to outdoor activities, such as recess for students. The board also added an amendment that it would not use funding from this year’s state budget, following a proviso passed by the South Carolina General Assembly.

During his remarks prior to the vote, FDS1 Superintendent Dr. Richard O’ Malley recommended the board implement the mandate, saying the district has plenty of masks. The superintendent also said the district reported 115 students and 14 staff members test positive for COVID-19 so far this week. He did not list the number of students or staff members in quarantine.

He also explained the main goal of the district is the reduce the number of students in quarantine, and that requiring virtual learning isn’t an option for the time being. O’Malley also listed other options the district can use, such as instituting an A/B-type schedule, but only the mask mandate was voted on Thursday.

The decision comes two days after the Marlboro County School District passed its own mask mandate, which is set to go into effect Monday. Other school districts throughout the state have also enacted their own mask requirements within the past week.

Florence School District 3 also held a discussion regarding masks during a meeting Thursday night. The FSD3 board said it will revisit the issue at a later meeting, but encouraged masks and vaccinations for the time being.

The FSD1 board said it would revisit its mask requirement during a meeting scheduled for Oct. 14.

Stay with WMBF News for updates.

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