Horry County Schools will not mandate masks at this time

Grand Strand

Horry County Schools Board Work Session Oct. 11, 2021 (WBTW)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Schools Board will not mandate masks at this time.

It was the first meeting since a federal judge ruled that South Carolina can’t enforce a ban on mask mandates in schools.

“Is Horry County Schools going to do a mask mandate? I think given the current circumstances that we have with this positive movement that that would not be appropriate at this time,” Superintendent Rick Maxey said.

Maxey referenced the data from the district’s COVID-19 dashboard. He said it shows an average drop of 26.5 cases per day and fewer quarantines. The dashboard hasn’t been updated since Friday, but it shows 160 current student cases, 29 staff cases, and more than 2,000 students in quarantine.

Maxey said the data shows that what is currently in place is working.

At previous board meetings, the school board said its hands were tied with the state enforcing Proviso 1.108, which banned them from mandating masks in schools. Now, that decision is up to each school district.

“If the situation should change and I would certainly be making a recommendation that we look at a mask mandate for schools that may be impacted or an attendance area,” Maxey said.

At Monday’s meeting, the board also decided on three candidates to interview for the District 3 vacancy after Ray Winters died from COVID-19. Those three candidates are Ray Winters’ wife, Tracy Winters; Ann MacDonald; and Michael Ryhal.

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