August 26, 2021

Around the nation: ACLU sues South Carolina over school mask mandate ban

Daily Briefing

    The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against South Carolina's ban on school mask mandates, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Florida, Oregon, and South Carolina.

    • Florida: Manatee Memorial Hospital on Monday announced Tom McDougal Jr. as CEO and managing director of the organization. Previously, McDougal served as market CEO at Merit Health Biloxi in Mississippi and has held several CEO roles in Alabama and South Carolina, according to Becker's Hospital Review. McDougal also formerly worked as an assistant professor of public health at Samford University in Alabama. (Jensik, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/24; Huff, Tampa Bay Business Journal, 8/24)
    • Oregon: Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Tuesday enacted a new statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks in most outdoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. The mandate will go into effect Friday and applies to outdoor settings where it is not possible to keep physical distance. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon's state health officer, said, "We are starting to see instances where cases are clustering around events, like outdoor music festivals, that happen outdoors. Wearing masks in crowded settings—even outdoors—will help slow the spread of Covid-19." In addition, while the mandate does not apply to outdoor events at private homes, people from different households who cannot be socially distanced are "strongly recommended" to wear masks. (Gonzalez, Axios, 8/24)
    • South Carolina: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit to challenge Gov. Henry McMaster's (R) statewide ban on school mask mandates. The ACLU is representing several disability rights groups and parents, Axios reports. The organization argues the ban violates the American with Disabilities Act, disproportionately affecting students with underlying health conditions and disabilities. "By making schools a dangerous place for these students with disabilities, they are essentially forcing their parents to choose between their child’s education and their child's health," Susan Mizner, director of the ACLU's Disability Rights Project, said. "And that is going to exclude them from their public education." (Gonzalez, Axios, 8/24; Ma, Associated Press, 8/24)
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