Dorchester District 2 will discuss COVID-19, plans for after winter break during board meeting

Dorchester County News

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester District 2 officials are taking a closer look at COVID-19 data during a meeting Monday night.

There has been an uptick in cases in the county and DD2 board members will discuss how schooling will take place after the winter break.

DD2 school superintendent Joe Pye recently tested positive for COVID-19 and joined a board workshop by video last week.

“I have no problem sharing that because it makes what we’re discussing tonight more real than ever. This is a deadly virus. It’s not to be taken lightly,” he said.

Pye said so far, he is having many symptoms, but they are mild.

The district presented overall COVID-19 data from South Carolina to the board.

“Unfortunately, as you can see here in November and with the latest data we have from December, that little blue line is starting to work its way away from the baseline once again somewhat indicating that we’re headed for another uptick,” said Thad Schmenk, assessment and accountability for DD2.

They looked at Dorchester County data; “Just today’s number over three days ago we’ve already jumped an incident rate up to 382.7 and our percent positive is 16.3.”

They are now approaching August numbers. Then a look at the number of new cases by zip code in Dorchester District 2.

“The number of new cases is definitely since around about Thanksgiving has been increasing.”

At the school level, from the start of school until November 9th, the district only had 42 staff members who tested positive. 

“So, that’s 42 members over 10 weeks. But when you look from November 9 until December 7, that’s 58 so we’ve more than doubled in just four weeks,” Schmenk said.

Dorchester District 2 is on a hybrid learning plan, with students in-person a portion of the day or week, and learning from home the rest of the week.

The school board will decide how to move forward when school resumes on January 4th. They could decide to keep things basically the same as the hybrid model, or they could make some changes.

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