FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW)– The teachers group SC for Ed is demanding a mask mandate in South Carolina schools.

In a news release, the group called on city and county governments across the state to defy Gov. Henry McMaster and follow the lead of Columbia, where the city council passed a mask mandate for elementary and middle schools last week. However, attorney General Alan Wilson says the council violated a state law banning schools from creating a mask mandate.

According to an email shared by SC for Ed, 107 students at six staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The district has not confirmed this email, but that is up from eight cases among students and eight cases among staff members the week prior. SC for Ed Pee Dee area leader Robin Bowman said COVID-19 cases at schools across the state are high because of the lack of mask-wearing and low vaccination rates.

“If we do not have mitigation efforts that are effective in place to help with the spread of COVID, such as masks, we are going to see more and more children become ill,” Bowman said. “Our children are at risk right now.”

Bowman said students seated within a three-foot radius of those who test positive are quarantined as well. She expressed concern for teachers who must once again plan virtual and face-to-face lessons for students in the classroom and in quarantine.

News13 reached out to Florence 1 Schools and Florence elected officials for their opinions on the situation. We are awaiting comment.