Lowcountry doctor discusses decisions to mask, not mask in schools

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 1:24 PM EDT
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JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Jasper County mandated masks in schools, but not all districts are making that same decision.

Schools in South Carolina have had the ability to put in mask mandates for about a week, and districts in the Lowcountry are dealing with the change differently.

“Strictly from a preventative medicine standpoint, I think it’s a good idea,” Dr. Kurt Gambla said.

COVID cases are declining in Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton, but the chief medical officer at Beaufort Memorial Hospital said that’s not a reason to slow down preventative measures.

“We don’t think the response to the numbers going down should be for us to just completely abandon caution at this point. I think anything that helps in terms of social distancing, vaccines, and all those we continue to support that,” Dr. Gambla said.

As of now, Beaufort County is not mandating masks and Jasper County is. Dr Gambla acknowledges that most kids are not high risk, but says the concern is more with the how they spread the disease.

“The worry is that then of course those kids come home from school, and they can give it to a family member, somebody that’s at a higher risk of a serious illness from it, so I think that it still makes sense to have masking as a precaution in that setting,” Dr. Gambla said.

Dr. Gambla also points out that many of these children can’t be vaccinated, making masking even more important.

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