HCS sees more COVID-19 cases in less than 4 weeks than all of the 2020-2021 school year

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 8:36 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - In less than 4 weeks, Horry County Schools saw more COVID-19 cases among students this year than all of last school year.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the district’s dashboard showed a total of 1,996 students have tested positive so far. In the entire 2020-2021 school year, the district reported a total of 1,777 student positives.

COVID-19 CASES | Horry County COVID-19 Dashboard

Meanwhile, far more students have been quarantined.

As more students and staff are impacted, HCS has made changes when it comes to how long students have to learn from home.

“When we originally started with the delta variant, the gold standard was the 14 day quarantine,” district spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said. “These were recommendations that we’re made in the spring but because of the cases, we believed the gold standard was 14 days and that’s how we originally implemented our quarantine procedures. Hearing from parents and concerns of healthy students being out of school for 3 weeks, was tough,” she said.

Bourcier added that their new guidelines should keep healthy kids in the classroom, or get them back sooner, without cutting corners.

“DHEC and the CDC did put out some various options to put them down to 10 days and potentially 7 days if certain measures are met,” she said.

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

For parent Sadie Johnston, what frustrates her the most isn’t the quarantines, but the cases and lack of mask mandate.

She said she’s worried for her 7th grader who has heart disease and is about to get his third open-heart surgery. But above everything, she said she is frustrated with Governor Henry McMaster who she said is leaving it in the hands of parents to decide on if their kids should put on a mask.

“Parents are the experts when it comes to their kids’ which I somewhat agree with. You know, no one knows their kids like you. However, we are not medical professionals,” Johnston said.

Bourcier added that the best thing parents can do is to keep their kids home when they are sick. She said they’ve had several students come to school while awaiting a test, which is against the HCS guidelines.

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