SC Gov. McMaster doubles down on no school mask mandates, urges vaccinations
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Monday affirmed his decision to not issue a mask mandate in his state as some other governors have amid a renewed surge in COVID-19 largely due to the delta variant.
Speaking on Monday, McMaster said issuing mask mandates for children was the “wrong thing to do.”
“We’re not going to do it. We’re not going to shut our state down as other states did,” he said. “Mandating masks is not the answer. Personal responsibility is the answer, common sense is the answer and we have an abundance of both in South Carolina.”
“What I wanted to remind people is that if you are going to get a vaccination now is a great time to do it,” McMaster said during an address Monday. “While we’re getting ready for the fall, a lot of activity going on, football games are starting again, classes are starting again, now is a great time. If if you’re ready to get that vaccination, go ahead and get it.”
The Republican governor stopped short of recommending vaccination, instead calling on residents to “make your decision.” He reiterated that he and his family had all gotten vaccinated and believed it was the right decision for them.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), around 53 percent of South Carolina’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and around 46 percent are fully vaccinated.
The DHEC on Monday reported 2,467 new COVID-19 cases, nine new deaths and a positivity rate of 12.3 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina has a seven-day moving average of 2,369 cases.