CLOVER, S.C. (WBTV) -South Carolina’s state health department will give parents and teachers some new insight on coronavirus cases in schools.
The agency announced it will release a new database for positive cases in each school district on Friday.
The numbers will be released twice a week. Both public and private schools will be included in these numbers. Kindergarten through 12th graders will be included in the data. School nurses and principals are expected to tell DHEC of any student and staff coronavirus cases within 24 hours.
Though the districts are reporting the cases, DHEC stresses that it does not mean the virus came from the school. That is what happened in Clover School District. Earlier this week, Superintendent Dr. Sheila Quinn announced nine staff and eight students tested positive for the coronavirus. Clover Schools Parent Deirdre Beers expected the announcement.
”It didn’t surprise me. It didn’t surprise me even if I hadn’t heard rumors it didn’t surprise me. I just assumed it would happen at some point,” says Beers.
Beers’ middle and high school students attend school in-person. She is nervous, but relieved the 17 cases across the district were not in any of the schools.
”I get apprehensive,” she says. It does scare me to some degree, but we all have risks.”
Dr. Quinn knew the year would not go without risks and positive cases. She said the same in a video released Sunday. ”One thing we knew for certain at the outset of this school year is that the covid virus would be present in our community and therefore it could be present in our schools,” says Quinn.
Beers learned about the new cases from the district, but DHEC new database gives her, and other parents, easy access to each district’s positive covid cases. It will come even faster for them.
”More information is better than no information, so I think it’s very important,” says Beers.
The numbers will be released this coming Friday. Then, DHEC will release the data twice a week on Tuesday and Friday. Though DHEC says students and staff will be in the numbers, it will be anyone coming to the schools on a regular basis. Coaches, cafeteria workers, and part time employees will be included. Virtual learning students who are coming to the school for extra activities will also be on that list.
Now armed with DHEC’s twice a week data updates, Beers can make an even quicker decision if she has too. ”We don’t want it in our house,” explains Beers. “If the choice was keep the kids in school with the possibility of high rates and them getting it or keep them home, I’m gonna keep them home.”>