DHEC releases school data, parents, teachers watching closely

SCDHEC releases school COVID-19 numbers

CLOVER, S.C. (WBTV) - South Carolina parents, teachers, and school staff are going to have more insight on coronavirus in schools starting Friday.

Late Friday afternoon, DHEC released its newest database - COVID-19 cases in school districts.

In the WBTV viewing area, four of the seven South Carolina school districts have not reported any coronavirus cases.

Chesterfield County has two schools with less than five faculty cases and one school with less than five student cases.

Lancaster County has two schools with less than five faculty cases.

In Clover Schools, the database shows two schools with less than five student cases and one school with less than five faculty cases.

Kindergarten through 12th graders are included in the data coming from private and public schools. 

Also, anyone coming to the school regularly, including coaches and virtual students, will be included in those numbers.

The data gives parents and teachers a little more comfort and a lot more transparency.

“I think it’s very important for DHEC and the schools to come together,” says mom Elizabeth Beers. “I can make an educated decision on my kids and what they’re doing.”

The new data could be the difference between Beers sending her kids to school or keeping them home.

“It definitely would make a difference to me,” she says. “My mother is living with me and is definitely in that group that is more susceptible to bad outcomes.”

“It actually makes me feel better knowing all the information that I can possible,” says special education teacher Ali Tracy-McHenry.

Tracy-McHenry does not have the same choices as parents. Her job inside the classroom doesn’t stop.

“Without that I think a lot of people will get this false hope and false sense of security that COVID doesn’t exist in our schools or our communities when we know that’s not true, she says.

She is choosing to arm herself with information to better protect herself and her students.

“It doesn’t scare me anymore than I’ve already been scared. I’ve been worried all summer. I’m still worried. I’m probably never going to stop being worried,” she says. “So I feel like it’s more important to have the data and feel like I’m informed as I can be.”

From now on, DHEC will release these numbers twice a week - Tuesday and Friday. The agency also stresses the cases don’t necessarily come from the school even its reported at the school.

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