Charleston County School District implements mask mandate for students and school staff starting Tuesday as vaccination rate among children is low
Charleston, South Carolina – The number of Covid-19 cases has been on the rise in Charleston County in the last couple of weeks forcing the local school officials to once again implement face mask mandate in schools.
According to the latest decision by the Charleston County School District, the mask mandate in schools for students, teachers and school staff will be implemented starting Tuesday.
The mask mandate will also apply for all school visitors who will visit the school premises during all times.
The decision comes following the rising number of cases, including Covid-19 cases in children, since the Omicron is spreading fast across the state.
“The new variant is more contagious. The consequences and the symptoms are mild so I think it’s good because the high transmission rate. It’s good we are back to masks to protect our kids,” said Leandro Cassola, CCSD parent.
According to Cassola, the face mask mandate is way better decision compared to switching to virtual learning since his daughter feels much better and shows better learning results with in person teaching.
“I’m just happy with how the system in managing all of these situations. I think it’s really important to have all the pre-cautions. I’m happy with what’s happening now,” he said.
Kyniqua Euland, another parent of a CCSD student, says that she feels much better with the mask mandate in place because it will improve her son’s safety while in school.
“We still wear our masks everywhere we go. I just had a newborn baby, so that’s very important to our family to keep everyone safe. My sons always been wearing a mask, he’s used to it now,” said Kyniqua Euland, a CCSD parent.
Despite the fact that the vaccination for children aged 5-11 was approved in October, the vaccination rate in this age group in South Carolina is very low exposing children to greater risk of getting infected with the virus. The latest data shows that only 7.3% of the children aged 5-11 are vaccinated so far in Palmetto State.
“They have had the vaccine around for the least of time so it’s going to take them time to catch up. I do think as the kids get younger, people are more afraid of doing new things,” said Dr. Robert Oliverio, CMO of Ambulatory Care at Roper St. Francis.
Oliverio encourages parents to get their children vaccinated against Covid-19 claiming that Covid-19 vaccine approved for children is the best protection against the virus and the vaccine itself is the best ever studied vaccine approved for children. However, based on the vaccination rate so far, the numbers show a lot of hesitancy.
“There are 100 million reasons why people come up with that they shouldn’t get the vaccine. I’ll tell you 99.1 percent of those are wrong. I think you just need a conversation with the person,” said Dr. Oliverio.
The current mask mandate will be enforced until January 10 and the school board will vote again to extended the mask mandate policy depending on the current situation.