School Board Votes to End Mask Mandate, Resume Normal Operations

Daniel Prince

Vote was 8-1, with Manning Jeter opposed

At its meeting Monday night, the Union County Board of School Trustees voted 8-1, with Manning Jeter opposed, to lift the mask mandate in Union County Schools, effective immediately. In addition, schools will be moving toward normal operation in all areas, including the use of the cafeteria.

The district will also be following DHEC's newly updated guidance for schools, which was released on February 22. After two consecutive weeks of less than 10% of all students and staff having COVID-19, an individual school can suspend its Test to Stay or quarantine procedures. With that, contact tracing, testing, and masking of close contacts without symptoms will no longer be required. If the percentage of students and staff with COVID rises above 10% for two consecutive weeks, Test to Stay protocols or quarantine protocols would be reinstituted within that school.

In case numbers shared at tonight's meeting, the peak number of cases came the week of January 10, with 281 cases and 936 students quarantined. Last week, there were only 4 positive cases across the entire district, and 15 students quarantined.

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