Horry County Schools officials talk specific plans to prevent, prepare for coronavirus

Horry County Schools reveals new details on coronavirus prevention plan

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Horry County School District’s administrators provided a deeper look on Wednesday at their prevention and preparedness plans for the coronavirus or COVID-19.

Currently, there are no reported cases of the coronavirus in Horry County.

However, Lisa Bourcier, the school district’s spokesperson, said from conference calls with state and local health officials to making sure students wash their hands, much of the planning has to do with staying informed and proactive.

"You're looking at a lot of cleaning and isolation or self-distancing," Bourcier said.

The district is monitoring supplies because of increased cleaning. They’ve also switched some of their products to Environmental Protection Agency recommended products that contain 60% of alcohol or more.

"Our janitorial staff, cleaning staff, our transportation department, we are wiping down after shifts on the buses too so they have received some additional guidance,” she said.

Bourcier said students switched from sharing supplies in one container to individual packs back in December, initially because of the flu.

Teachers have also come up with creative ways to teach students the importance of washing and sanitizing their hands.

Despite the information provided, Bourcier said there’s still a lot of unknowns about the illness.

“People still don’t know if it’s seasonal like the flu so there’s a lot of unknowns for health officials and trying to work through that process,” she said.

Horry County Schools isn’t one of the districts to take part in the state’s eLearning Pilot Program. However, Bourcier said in the past they were able to rearrange their school calendar during school closures because of hurricanes. It’s something they may do if the same happens because of an outbreak.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to close for 15 days straight for a hurricane so we were able to work through those processes,” she said.

But, most of that plan will depend on the extent of the outbreak, Bourcier said, and directions from state health officials on how to handle it.

“It could be looking at an issue that would affect one school, multiple schools or the entire district so it would really be based what information is gathered by the health department,” she said.

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