COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Education says it will enforce a facemask requirement on all school buses in the state by the end of this month.

Leaders say it’s part of their effort to mitigate virus transmission and keep schools open and operating safely.

“We will again enforce the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s order requiring face coverings on school buses beginning August 30th,” the department stated.

State Superintendent of Education, Molly Spearman, said the SCDE has been following COVID-19 transmission levels across the state, and because of a recent spike will again enforce the face mask rule for all students and staff on state owned and operated school buses.

School buses will be equipped with a supply of face coverings that meet the CDC’s order requirements.

“If a student boards without a face covering, drivers will offer the student a face covering,” the department said.

Students, however, cannot be denied transportation for failing to wear a face mask.