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Florence 1 mask mandate to remain in effect after school board tables discussion

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 5:49 AM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - The mask mandate for Florence 1 Schools remains in effect despite the State Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the city of Columbia’s school mask mandate.

The district’s board of trustees decided to table the mask mandate, meaning the current 60-day mask requirement will remain in place.

Several parents discussed their displeasure with the mask mandate. One parent referred to South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s statement that parents should decide what’s best for their child.

Superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley told the board he wasn’t going to debate masks. He added there’s been a drop off in the number of students that have had to quarantine since the mask mandate was put in place.

O’Malley said based on South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control guidelines, if a masked student comes in close contact with a COVID-19 positive student, they aren’t required to quarantine.

“That’s the big thing for us about the masks is that does allow students to be in school and not quarantine. Out of all this what concerns me the most is the amount of healthy kids that have to go home and quarantine and then work their way back,” O’Malley said.

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