CCTC, USC Sumter require face coverings in indoor campus facilities following state top court ruling


Central Carolina Technical College and USC Sumter will require face coverings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, inside campus facilities.

These decisions followed the South Carolina Supreme Court's ruling Tuesday that the University of South Carolina’s mask mandate last month did not violate a state budget proviso that banned discriminatory face covering requirements.

“Face coverings are not required outside or when individuals are in their own offices or workspaces,” CCTC posted on Facebook. “This policy is subject to change at any time based on changes in transmission rates in our area and guidance from federal and state health agencies.”

Every county in the state currently has a high level of transmission, according to state public health data. Sumter County, the state's 15th largest county by population, has the fourth lowest  rate of people completing vaccination.

The local college encouraged unvaccinated employees and students to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and others along with the mask mandate, which went into effect Thursday.

Face masks are also required in all campus buildings and in university vehicles at USC Sumter, according to Alethia Hummel, USC Sumter's director of marketing and public relations. The new policy went into effect on Tuesday.

Thursday was the first day of classes for the fall semester, and USC Sumter is offering a mix of face-to-face classes and online coursework, Hummel said. 

After Tuesday, several public South Carolina colleges and universities began requiring students and educators to wear masks to limit the spread of the resurgent COVID-19 and its delta variant, according to the Associated Press.

Coastal Carolina University announced Wednesday on Twitter face coverings are required in all campus buildings except for private offices and assigned living areas. Clemson University, the College of Charleston, South Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina have also instituted similar rules.

Morris College also made face coverings a requirement for its students, faculty and staff Tuesday for the beginning of its 2021-22 school year, though the state proviso did not affect Morris because it is a private institution.