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. 

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