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South Carolina requires masks on buses

State reverses order and now requires masks on school buses statewide

LANDRUM—South Carolina students are now required to wear masks on school buses. 

The new ruling started on Monday as Covid-19 cases continue to rise among children and students across the country. 

Last week’s ruling was a reversal as the state Education Department told schools in July they did not require students to wear masks on buses. But the department changed its mind in a letter last Thursday. 

State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said the delta variant appears to be spreading quickly in children and more has to be done to keep students safe and schools open. 

School districts in need of masks will get them by the state to pass out to students in need who board buses without a face covering, but drivers cannot kick a student off a bus for not wearing a mask. 

Covid-19 cases in South Carolina have increased for people age 20 and under. During this same time in 2020, about 17 percent of the cases were in that age group and now nearly 30 percent of the cases are in that age group, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. 

Prisma Health, which provides health care for about half the state of South Carolina, has said it is running out of beds and workers to take care of younger patients in the last couple of weeks. 

Last Thursday, state health officials in South Carolina reported 56 deaths, which is the highest number of deaths in a day since mid-March. 

South Carolina is averaging more than 4,200 new cases per day.