SC Supreme Court
Flickr user geraldbrazell

South Carolina’s highest court on Thursday tossed out a school mask mandate in the state’s capital city, saying it contradicts a state budget measure aimed at preventing face-covering requirements. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin reacted strongly: “This is a sad day for children in South Carolina. What is even sadder is the people who have been elected to protect them, who should always and only act to keep them healthy, educated and alive, won’t fight for them. With record numbers of our children falling ill to this deadly virus, we pray for our children.” More: Associated Press, The State, The Post and Courier 

Meanwhile, South Carolina health officials reported 5,229 total cases of COVID-19 Sept. 2, with 3,572 confirmed. A total of 60 new deaths, with 44 confirmed, were reported Thursday, a dramatic increase compared to days prior. With 32,408 tests reported, 14.5% were confirmed positive.

In other headlines:

MUSC, Roper have no ICU beds available. According to MUSC, they have had to board ICU patients in other departments including the emergency department and the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. More: WCSC-TV, The Wall Street Journal

CCSD student performance held steady through pandemic, report cards show. Despite the pandemic, schools within Charleston County seem to be doing better than the state average. More: WCSC-TV

McMaster expected to use federal COVID aid funds on I-26 widening project. S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster urged state lawmakers Thursday to use $360 million in federal pandemic relief funds to jumpstart the widening of Interstate 26 between Charleston and Columbia. More: Associated Press, WCSC TV, The Post and Courier 

Charleston hotels return to pre-pandemic levels of occupancy. The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says tourism in Charleston saw recovery and growth over this summer. More: WCSC TV

To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.