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Relaxed COVID Protocols for SC Health Department Schools

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Columbia, South Carolina (WCSC) – Thousands of students in South Carolina are either back in the classroom now or this week as the new school year begins due to the pandemic.

But when they return, they will do so under relaxed statewide COVID-19 protocols, in response to the CDC relaxing its guidance last week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Management will update its guidelines on Monday.

Over the past few years, DHEC’s COVID guidance for schools has included when and where masks should be worn, when masks should be worn, how far apart students should sit in classrooms, etc. It has been explained in detail.

“The big thing this year is that we want to keep our kids in school and healthy and happy. They all deserve a normal year,” said Brannon, DHEC’s Public Health Director. Dr. Traxler said.

Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or who have symptoms are required to stay home and isolate for at least five days. Afterwards, her symptoms improved and without the help of fever-reducing medication she was able to return to school after being fever-free for 24 hours.

Masks must be worn for the next five days, but may be removed if rapid antigen tests are negative on days six and eight.

If you test negative on both days, you should continue wearing the mask for 5 more days.

The change in guidance indicates that South Carolina’s childhood COVID vaccination coverage has remained low over the past few months, at which time fewer than 1 in 5 children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated. It’s for

“I strongly encourage them to get vaccinated,” Traxler said. “You are less likely to have to miss school, and even less likely to have to miss school, and less likely to have a serious case. You can get the best shot possible.”

Students who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, including friends, classmates and teachers, no longer need to be quarantined if there is no active outbreak at school. Therefore, they should continue to attend school even under such circumstances. .

An outbreak occurs when 20% or more of students and staff in a shared environment such as a classroom or sports team are diagnosed with COVID within 72 hours or are absent due to COVID.

Schools must report outbreaks to DHEC, but this year it’s up to school districts to decide what happens next, whether to start requiring masks or switch classes to virtual.

“We provide some guidance on the outbreak, but again, it’s up to each school district to consult with their legal advisors and the administration to make the best decisions about how to incorporate that guidance,” Traxler said. said.

According to the CDC, more than half of South Carolina’s 46 counties are experiencing high levels of community spread of the virus as the school year begins.

In these areas, the CDC encourages people to wear masks in indoor public places and crowded outdoor spaces, and DHEC also recommends following that guidance.

Traxler reminded families that they need to be up-to-date not only on COVID immunizations, but also on all pediatric vaccines for their children, and hopes that students will be absent from school for preventable reasons. says no.

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