HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A nutrition services employee who had worked at Socastee Elementary School during the school closure tested positive for COVID-19, according to Horry County Schools officials.
On Tuesday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed the positive test, a press release stated.
The employee’s last day reporting to work was Thursday, April 2, according to the release. The employee was pre-screened by the school nurse, which is done daily, on April 2 and did not present any symptoms, district officials said.
Horry County Schools cannot share any additional information about the employee and cannot legally disclose the employee's health condition.
In accordance with SCDHEC guidelines, HCS has communicated with all HCS Nutrition Services and Transportation employees who may have had direct contact with the employee. In addition, employees who had direct contact with the employee have been directed to self-quarantine for 14 days. SCDHEC will also conduct an investigation.
The Socastee Elementary School meal site has been closed and affected areas will be appropriately cleaned and disinfected. The affected buses will also be appropriately cleaned and disinfected, the release stated. Effective April 8, Socastee High School will provide grab-and-go meals for the Socastee area.
A spokesperson for Horry County Schools said the confirmation of the positive test came during lunch hours on April 7, at which point the site was immediately shut down.
Kayla Gills, a parent whose family relies on meals from the district, said she wasn’t told why she had to change pick-up locations.
“The schools are wonderful but I think there was a miscommunication between the families going in because I went there yesterday and we waited. There was like three cars in front of us and we were waiting, and the one lady got out of the car, knocked on the door and nobody said anything,” Gills said.
She added that she hopes the district works to keep meal pick-ups safe.
“I would never thought in a million years this would happen like this. The school doing that is great, I appreciate them doing it. I know there’s family out there, you know, it’s tough out there. It’s tough for us," Gill said.
At this time, HCS has not released any information about their plans to change the way meal pick-ups operate.