GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina)- Greenville County Schools held a workshop on Tuesday afternoon to discuss what factors would determine when schools will need to implement mask mandates.
Officials said that mandatory mask requirements will be implemented on a school-by-school basis depending on COVID-19 conditions.
The first factor that schools will monitor is how many students test positive for COVID-19 at each school said, officials. According to officials, if at least 4.5% of any school's population is isolating due to COVID-19 in a ten-day window, then school officials will consider implementing a mask mandate.
The second factor is based on the conditions of local hospitals. If the pediatric fill rate at local hospitals is at least 95% or local hospitals have critically low staffing, school officials will discuss mask mandates.
The following are additional factors that individual schools will consider:
- Whether the 4.5% of the student population is isolating due to COVID for 5 consecutive days.
- Whether more than 20% of a school’s student population is absent due to COVID-19
- The overall student population of the school
- The layout of the facility and physical size of classrooms
- The school's ability to keep students in isolated groups
- The student population’s ability to get vaccinated against COVID-19
- Any concentration of positive cases in a particular grade, level, class, or organization.
The following factors would lead Greenville County Schools to consider a mandatory mask mandate for the entire district, according to officials:
- A COVID-19 variant that is significantly more contagious and harmful emerges
- The district's spread rate tops 4,500 cases per 100,000 students over a two weeks span
- The trending pattern of COVID cases within the district and the community increases.
Officials said if the district implements a temporary mask mandate, all employees and students will need to wear a mask for at least ten days. Officials will consider exemptions on a case-by-case basis.