BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Students at Stratford High School will begin eating their lunches in classrooms beginning Monday.

The goal in avoiding the cafeteria is to minimize exposure around the school and eliminate large gatherings as cases of COVID-19 surge in the county.

District officials say nearly 700 students at a time are in the cafeteria eating lunch.

Additionally, Friday’s pep rally at the school which normally would have about 2,000 students, has been canceled.

According to the Berkeley County School District’s COVID-19 Dashboard, 19 student cases and one staff case have been reported since August 19th.

Nearly 170 student cases and just over 50 staff cases of COVID-19 have been reported countywide since August 19th.

The district is not requiring students or staff to wear masks indoors.