AG Wilson: University of South Carolina can’t require masks

State - Regional

FILE – In this April 30, 2021 file photo, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson speaks to attendees at the Richland County GOP convention in Columbia, S.C. The University of South Carolina can’t lawfully require students and staff to wear face coverings on campus this fall, despite increasing cases of coronavirus, thanks to recent legislative action, according to the state’s top prosecutor. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The state’s top prosecutor says the University of South Carolina can’t lawfully require students and staff to wear face coverings on campus this fall, despite increasing cases of coronavirus, thanks to recent legislative action.

University officials said last week they would require “face coverings to be worn at all times inside all campus buildings” except dorms, private offices or dining halls.

Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a letter this week that the university’s mask mandate “is likely not consistent with the intent of the Legislature.”

A budget proviso that went into effect July 1 prohibits the state’s pubic colleges, universities and school districts from using any appropriated funds to institute mask requirements.

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