The University of South Carolina has backpedaled on its previous plan to require face masks inside campus buildings amid the resurgence of COVID-19 across the state.
On Tuesday, the university said it will not require masks to be worn on campus.
The said mask mandate cancel is now set to be discussed on the Supreme Court.
According to Attorney General Alan Wilson tweet:
“Today, my office issued guidance on COVID policies from the University of South Carolina, at the request of members of the legislature. Our guidance made clear the COVID Vaccine cannot be used as a condition of enrollment.”
Today, my office issued guidance on COVID policies from the University of South Carolina, at the request of members of the legislature.
Our guidance made clear the COVID Vaccine cannot be used as a condition of enrollment.
— Alan Wilson (@AGAlanWilson) August 3, 2021
Wilson continued. “We asked that UofSC offer clarification their policy follows state law. Finally, relating to the recently announced masking requirements, we asked that UofSC revise their policy to comply with legislative intent.”
The letter stated that the Legislature has sided with “a student’s liberty interests.”
“The Legislature possesses the ultimate authority over health policy and has prohibited mandatory vaccinations and masking at schools and colleges, siding with a student’s liberty interests,” Wilson said in the letter.
“One reasonable interpretation is to prohibit discrimination by requiring masks for the unvaccinated,” he wrote but noted that they could not require only unvaccinated students to wear masks.
USC reversed the mask mandate following the letter.
“In light of this…the university will not require anyone to wear face coverings in our buildings, except when in university health care facilities and when utilizing campus public transportation, effective August 3,” USC President Harris Pastides said in a statement to The State. “We continue to strongly encourage the use of face coverings indoors, except in private offices or residence hall rooms or while eating in campus dining facilities.”
A report from Campus Reform stated that the South Carolina Supreme Court was asked by Wilson to make a ruling on whether the University of South Carolina can implement a mask mandate.
“The Supreme Court will soon decide whether or not to hear the case and could choose to hold a hearing in the near future. The suit points out that the issue is time-sensitive since students return to classes on Aug. 19,” the report states.