South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster held firm in his opposition to mandating masks in schools. At a news conference Monday morning he said that although "masking would help," it's "not necessary" and there are "negative consequences for all that."
Instead, McMaster said the decision "ought to be up to the parents."
McMaster signed an executive order on May 11 that restricted school districts from mandating masks for students.
He said that even though cases are on the rise, Covid-19 hospitalizations and ICU patient numbers are down from where they were at the peak of the pandemic.
"At this point, it's clear it's not like it was last year. We know how to handle a virus now. It's a completely different situation," McMaster said.
Although he didn't urge people to get vaccinated, he urged those who are eligible to "make that decision."
McMaster said, "If you are going to get a vaccination, now is a great time to do it."