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McMaster on new CDC mask guidelines: ‘Mandating masks is not the answer’

Gov. Henry McMaster
Gov. Henry McMaster(Live 5)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 4:22 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster responded to new mask guidelines recommended by the CDC.

The nation’s top health officials came out on Tuesday and reversed course on some masking guidelines. They recommended that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the country where COVID-19 cases are surging.

The CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

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Moments after the announcement, McMaster tweeted that school districts cannot implement mask mandates.

“State law now prohibits school administrators from requiring students to wear a mask. The General Assembly agreed with me – and that decision is now left up to the parents,” McMaster stated.

Proviso 1.108, which prevents school districts from requiring face masks in schools, was passed by the General Assembly as part of the 2021-2022 General Appropriations bill.

“Since this is state law, there will not be any changes to school mask requirements despite what public health recommendations may be put forth from various agencies and organizations,” said Ryan Brown, the spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Education.

McMaster added that while the Delta variant of COVID-19 poses a real threat in South Carolina, the state will remain open.

“Shutting our state down, closing schools and mandating masks is not the answer. Personal responsibility is. The vaccine works,” McMaster said.

The governor said that if people have not decided on whether to get vaccinated, then they should talk to doctors and loved ones about their options.

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