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Horry County Schools implements new options to reduce quarantine period for students, staff

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 5:25 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Horry County Schools announced it will implement two options to help reduce quarantine time and get students and staff back to face-to-face learning faster.

Horry County School Board Chairman had been in touch with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control about how the district could reduce quarantine times.

RELATED COVERAGE | HCS board chairman addresses COVID-19 issues in district; student quarantines climb to 10K

As of late Friday, there are 12,400 students in quarantine in the district.

DHEC provided three options to reduce that time and Horry County Schools said it will make two of those options available for students and employees.

There are different guidelines for those who have come in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case and those who are living with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

These guidelines are also for those who have not been vaccinated. Students and staff who are fully vaccinated or who have received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result from a healthcare provider in the last 90 days and who are not symptomatic do not have to quarantine.

NEW QUARANTINE GUIDELINES FOR CLOSE CONTACT CASES (Recommended quarantine period is 14 days):

  • Ten days of quarantine must be completed and no symptoms have been reported during daily at-home monitoring.

OR

  • Seven days of quarantine must be completed, no symptoms have been reported during daily at-home monitoring, and the individual has received results of a negative antigen or PCR/molecular test that was taken no earlier than day five of quarantine. (According to SCDHEC, results of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests will not be accepted.)
    • Negative COVID-19 test results should be sent via email to negativeCOVID19testresults@horrycountyschools.net or be submitted at the school. A student may not report to class until 7 calendar days of quarantine have been completed and until the negative test result has been recorded by school staff.

NEW QUARANTINE GUIDELINES FOR HOUSEHOLD CONTACT CASES:

  • Twenty days of quarantine must be completed and no symptoms have been reported during daily at-home monitoring.

OR

  • Seventeen days of quarantine must be completed, no symptoms have been reported during daily at-home monitoring, and the individual has received results of a negative antigen or PCR/molecular test that was taken no earlier than day fifteen of quarantine. (According to SCDHEC, results of over-the-counter COVID-19 tests will not be accepted.)
    • Negative COVID-19 test results should be sent via email to negativeCOVID19testresults@horrycountyschools.net or be submitted at the school. A student may not report to class until 17 calendar days of quarantine have been completed and until the negative test result has been recorded by school staff.

ISOLATION - POSITIVE COVID-19 TEST RESULT

  • Students and staff members who receive a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result must isolate for 10 days. The student/staff members may return to school or work on the 11th day provided they are asymptomatic. There is no option to shorten isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test result.

Horry County Schools also announced because of this change in quarantine guidelines, the schools that have moved to temporary distance learning will now be able to go back to class sooner.

Here are the new return dates for the following schools:

  • Aynor Middle School (AMS) was originally moved to distance learning from August 30th – September 10th. Under the revised procedures, AMS students and employees may return to face-to-face learning on Tuesday, September 7th unless the student or staff member is symptomatic, has received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result while on distance learning, or was deemed as a household contact.
  • Conway High School (CHS) was originally moved to distance learning from September 1st – September 14th. Under the revised procedures, CHS students and employees may return to face-to-face learning on Monday, September 13th unless the student or staff member is symptomatic, has received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result while on distance learning, or was deemed as a household contact.
  • Loris Middle School (LMS) was originally moved to distance learning from September 2nd – September 15th. Under the revised procedures, LMS students and employees may return to face-to-face learning on Monday, September 13th unless the student or staff member is symptomatic, has received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result while on distance learning, or was deemed as a household contact.
  • Whittemore Park Middle School (WPMS) was originally moved to distance learning from September 3rd – September 16th. Under the revised procedures, WPMS students and employees may return to face-to-face learning on Monday, September 13th unless the student or staff member is symptomatic, has received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result while on distance learning, or was deemed as a household contact.
  • Ten Oaks Middle (TOMS) was originally moved to distance learning from September 3rd – September 16th. Under the revised procedures, TOMS students and employees may return to face-to-face learning on Monday, September 13th unless the student or staff member is symptomatic, has received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result while on distance learning, or was deemed as a household contact.

The new guidelines will go into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Any questions on the quarantine procedures or school return dates may be emailed to covid19info@horrycountyschools.net.

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