South Carolina and Ohio will not reintroduce public health mandates, governors say.

“I think there’s some exaggeration going on, some hyperbole, of those figures that you just mentioned,” he told Fox’s Dana Perino, adding that the state’s increasing cases “were not nearly as high as they were last July.”

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The governors of South Carolina and Ohio both said on Sunday that they would not renew public health mandates like mask-wearing and social distancing, even as their states continued to battle a raging pandemic.

Earlier in the pandemic, both states had required similar mandates, including declaring a state of emergency.

“I really think we have got to stay calm,” Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We have put the fire out — it’s smoldering in places and could come back up — but the house is not on fire again.”

In recent weeks, coronavirus cases have risen rapidly across the country, enabled by lagging vaccination rates and the presence of the new, highly contagious Delta variant. Despite a vaccination push from the Biden administration, public health protocols remain a state-by-state decision.

In South Carolina, coronavirus cases increased by 258 percent in the past 14 days, and hospitalization and death rates also rose, according to The New York Times database. Mr. McMaster downplayed those numbers.

“I think there’s some exaggeration going on, some hyperbole, of those figures that you just mentioned,” he told Fox’s Dana Perino, adding that the state’s increasing cases “were not nearly as high as they were last July.”

Only 41 percent of South Carolina residents are fully vaccinated, according to the database; that figure is below the national average of 49.4 percent. Both Mr. McMaster and his wife contracted the virus in late December, shortly after attending a Christmas party at the White House; both were vaccinated in the spring. On Sunday the governor maintained that getting vaccinated remained a resident’s personal decision, and he said that the state would not reintroduce a mask mandate.

“We are not going to have a statewide mask mandate, like they have in some other places,” Mr. McMaster said. “We are not going to require people to get vaccinated.”

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio offered similar remarks on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. Just 46 percent of state residents are fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times coronavirus tracker, and the number of cases has risen 177 percent in the last two weeks, with a 30 percent increase in hospitalizations.

While conceding that his state had “room to grow” in increasing its vaccination rate, Mr. DeWine said that he had no plans to reintroduce mandates. Asked about capacity restrictions or social distancing requirements, Mr. DeWine deflected: “The whole game today is vaccinations.”

Neither Ohio nor South Carolina will require students to wear masks in schools. “We came out last week with recommendations — they are recommendations — we leave it up to the local schools,” Mr. DeWine said, adding later that “some will do that, some will not.”

In South Carolina, the state passed legislation last month that keeps mask-wearing in schools a parental matter.

“This ought to be up to the parents, whether the children will wear masks when they go to school,” Mr. McMaster said. “That’s a parent decision.”

— Giulia Heyward