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SC school districts to get $10 million for masks, protective equipment

Gov. Henry McMaster said the money will go to masks, face shields, and cleaning supplies.

ANDERSON, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said $10 million will go to 70 school districts in the state for protective equipment so districts can reopen safely when classes begin.

McMaster made the announcement Wednesday at a school in Anderson County. 

“Getting our children back into the classroom is vital for the continued growth of our state,” Gov. McMaster said. “Securing this PPE will ensure that each school has the resources needed to succeed in providing a safe environment for both students and faculty.”

McMaster said the money will be used to buy masks, face shields, gloves, and disinfectant wipes. 

McMaster said the virus has thrown a "monkey wrench" into educating the state's children. "Our children have lost valuable learning," McMaster said. "We have got to assure they are getting all that they need to get educated. 

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Statewide, 70 of South Carolina’s 81 districts requested PPE funding. The state will distribute the following PPE and supplies to the school districts as follows:

  • 248,000 Adult and student masks
  • 600,000 Cloth masks
  • 80,000 KN95 masks
  • 150,000 Face shields
  • 46,000 Gloves
  • 237,000 Gowns for nurses
  • 12,000 Cases of disinfecting wipes
  • 11,000 Gallons of hand sanitizer

The money came from the South Carolina General Assembly when they allocated $155 million for the state COVID-19 relief fund. 

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"As schools welcome back students and staff to classrooms across South Carolina, it is crucial that they have the resources needed to protect against the spread of the coronavirus," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. "The statewide order of protective equipment announced today will help ensure that we have the safest learning environments possible."

All South Carolina school districts have gotten their reopening plans approved by the state. Some of them call for remote learning to begin with, others are doing a hybrid model, and some will offer in person instruction to begin. Most Districts will open either the end of August of after the Labor Day holiday weekend.