Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Staff reports | The state Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday issued updated school and childcare center guidance for COVID-19. The new guidance is designed to help transition from Test to Stay (in school) along with quarantine requirements to learning, working and living with COVID-19 with minimal disruptions. 

The newly updated guidance follows the continual decline of the impact of COVID-19 in South Carolina, with new reported cases remaining under 1,000 two days in a row (albeit, barely).

“DHEC recognizes that our state’s two-year response to this virus has had a significant impact on our families, children and educators,” said DHEC director Dr. Edward Simmer. “Our updated guidance recognizes that COVID-19 is an illness that we now need to treat and manage as endemic, and will help our schools, childcare centers and ultimately, all of us make that transition.”

The decline in case numbers has been drastic, according to DHEC reports. Historic highs in case counts were seen at the top of the year, but since mid-January, cases fell from more than 100,000 in a single week to 64,000 the next week, to 35,000 the next and down to under 20,000 in the week of Feb. 12.

The new guidance is similar, but not identical, to pre-COVID guidance for the flu. Both Test to Stay and quarantine requirements can be ended once schools and childcare centers go two consecutive weeks with less than 10 percent positivity rates among students and staff. Schools will need to continue to report the number of COVID cases to DHEC on a weekly basis. Isolation requirements for those who test positive for COVID-19 remain unchanged.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials on Wednesday reported 999 total new cases of COVID-19, with 586 confirmed, and 14 new deaths, with 11 confirmed.

With 4,028 tests reported Wednesday, 12.8% were positive, keepin

g pace with reports from the last few weeks.

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 67.3%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 58%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 18.3%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 14%

For more information, visit the S.C. SCDHEC COVID-19 dashboard.

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