HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Students with Horry County Schools will return to a fully virtual learning environment following the winter break.
According to HCS board chairman Ken Richardson, students will be fully virtual two weeks following the break.
School is set to resume on Jan. 4.
The news comes as COVID-19 cases continues to rise across South Carolina.
“In reviewing COVID-19 case data for HCS following student holidays, both current positive cases and staff quarantines rose following breaks. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, HCS experienced an increase in COVID-19 positive cases that were dispersed around the District, as well as an increase in the number of staff members placed in quarantine,” according to information from the district.
HCS officials stressed that while staff quarantines do not mean those in quarantine have COVID-19, the measure for employees identified as close contacts of a positive case could impact a brick-and-mortar school’s ability to conduct face-to-face classes.
“Further complicating matters, from December 23, 2020 - January 3, 2021, HCS will not be able to track and record COVID-19 case data as accurately as we would under normal operations,” the district stated.
During the weeks of Jan. 4 through Jan. 8, and Jan. 11 through Jan. 15, school facilities will be closed and no students will be in the buildings, information from HCS stated.
“Athletic events previously scheduled over the holiday break will continue; however, the District’s Health and Safety Services Department will continue to monitor teams, and should COVID-19 issues arise, individual athletes and/or entire teams may be quarantined,” district officials stated. “A decision regarding all regularly scheduled athletic and extracurricular activities for the first two weeks of January will be made and communicated near the end of winter break based upon data available at that time.”