CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD)- 125 nurses across Charleston County are receiving supplies, undergoing training and getting updates on diseases as the new school year is close to starting.

The fully staffed nursing team will be getting supplies, including at-home COVID-19 tests, as the district shifts its approach to the virus.

“We’re in an endemic so we really need to learn how to live with COVID-19 within our school system,” said Ellen Nitz, the Director of Nursing Services for the Charleston County School District. “We’re going to have those at our Fact and Fee and Registration Days. What our hopes are is that these families will utilize these kits to be able to test at home before they send their children to school if they should be symptomatic.”

CCSD will not do contact tracing, but will be doing positive case investigation.

“If there is a student or a staff member that is positive we will investigate that particular case, that they’re having the correct isolation days and they’re able to return to school on day six while wearing a mask on days six through ten,” said Nitz.

School district guidelines for a COVID-19 positive test are concurrent with the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) rules. If more than 20% of a classroom tests positive for COVID-19 then CCSD will contact DHEC and examine each case individually to determine if the class needs to be closed.

If someone has symptoms they will be out for five days with their onset of symptoms being day zero. Students and staff can return to school on days six through ten with a mask on.

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Nurses will also be taking training for monkey pox cases in schools. The disease is not a threat to the schools at this time according to DHEC.

“We will be doing training making sure everyone stays vigilant and that they know the signs and symptoms to look out for,” said Nitz.

CCSD says that they have seen an increase in students needing help for mental illness. Nurses work with school counselors and psychologists to get students help.

“We try to wrap as many resources around these kids as we possibly can. We are working at this from all ends and trying to make sure we meet the needs of our children,” said Nitz.

What Nitz’s nurses are doing this year is using knowledge learning from the pandemic to keep students and teachers healthier.

“We’ve increased our hand hygiene tremendously. We will try to social distance as much as we possibly can. All of these things really help to cut down on other illnesses as well as COVID-19,” said Nitz.