CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The Charleston County School District (CCSD), Berkeley County School District (BCSD), and Dorchester County School Districts Two and Four return to class as COVID-19 cases remain high.
Schools are already feeling the impact of COVID-19 on students, as six high school football teams in the area are quarantining after positive COVID-19 test results last week.
With the coronavirus impacting schools before class starts, districts shared their plans for how COVID-19 cases among students will be handled.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says that they will determine closing classrooms based on how many cases there are.
DHEC’s website states that if three of more cases are identified within two weeks, the classroom could be closed for a period of 14 days.
CCSD Superintendent, Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, said CCSD will follow the state health official’s guidelines.
“Currently if three cases of coronavirus exist in a classroom, the classroom is closed for a period of about two weeks,” said Postlewait.
The same goes for Dorchester District Two (DD2) schools.
In Berkeley County schools, leaders there say while three cases could potentially result in all students in a classroom being placed on quarantine as positive or close contacts, they do not have a ‘three cases in two weeks rule’ that would automatically mean a class is closed. “We look at each situation individually. So while it could happen, we do not have a plan stating that 3 positives in a classroom means a class is automatically shutdown for 2 weeks,” said BCSD spokeswoman Katie Tanner.
The districts are also using enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures to limit virus spread.
“Once we get a positive report we are going to thoroughly clean that classroom and only bring back those students who are vaccinated and are showing no symptoms or aren’t close contacts,” said Katie Tanner, BCSD’s Chief Communications Officer.
In Dorchester District Two, a lack of social distancing in a classroom could mean a whole class has to stay home.
“Potentially that entire classroom could need to quarantine if all of those students and staff are in close contact with each other,” said Amanda Santamaria, the District Nurse Coordinator for DD2.
For students in quarantine, the districts will provide virtual learning options.