Latest tally of COVID-19 cases in Lexington Two schools

 

NOTE: Find additional DHEC guidance at the bottom of this story

 

 

WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- DHEC is providing a report that includes for every school confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among students, teachers and faculty members. This information is updated on Tuesday and Friday afternoons.

 

Here is the DHEC school cases link: https://scdhec.gov/covid-19-cases-associated-staff-students

 

In the interest of keeping our families and the public informed, Lexington Two also provides a look at confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff in our schools. This list is updated each Monday. The numbers listed are not cumulative and only represent the number of *new* confirmed positive COVID-19 cases reported during the previous week. This report does not mean that students or staff members contracted the virus while at school. Staff and students come and go from our schools and are active in our community, meaning they could have come into contact with the virus outside of a school setting.

 

Confirmed positive cases, week of November 23-November 29, 2020:

 

NOTE: Schools were open November 23-24 but closed November 25-27 for the Thanksgiving holiday)

 

AIRPORT HIGH SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

BROOKLAND-CAYCE HIGH SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 2

 

BUSBEE CREATIVE ARTS ACADEMY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 1

 

CAYCE ELEMENTARY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

CONGAREE ELEMENTARY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

FULMER MIDDLE SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

LEXINGTON TWO INNOVATION CENTER

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

NEW BRIDGE ACADEMY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

NORTHSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

PINE RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

RIVERBANK ELEMENTARY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

SALUDA RIVER ACADEMY FOR THE ARTS

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

SPRINGDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

WOOD ELEMENTARY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

CURRENT WEEK TOTALS

Staff cases: 0

Student cases: 3

 

PREVIOUS WEEK TOTALS (November 16-November 22)

Staff cases: 4

Student cases: 4

 

NOTIFYING FAMILIES ABOUT POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES

  

In the event of a positive COVID-19 case in our schools,  here are Lexington Two's protocols, based on guidance from CDC, DHEC, SC Department of Education and other agencies. The information that follows will be updated as necessary.

 

NOTE: While the CDC and DHEC have suggested shorter quarantine times, they both state that a full fourteen (14) day quarantine after exposure to a COVID-19 case remains the most effective strategy for preventing additional transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases.  Therefore, Lexington Two will maintain the 14-day quarantine.

 

Q: What happens when a student or staff member tests positive?

A: When a student or staff member in one of our schools tests positive for COVID-19, we will exclude that person from school for at least 10 days and will direct them to isolate. Contact tracing will begin immediately.

 

Anyone determined to have been in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual must be excluded/quarantined from school for 14 days. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (with or without a mask).

 

Those determined to be a close contact will receive a phone call from the school nurse, followed by a letter or email with details. In the case of a student being identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual, the child’s parent/guardian will be notified.

 

Anyone who has been in a classroom or other area of the school with a COVID-19 positive individual but determined not to be a close contact (farther than 6 feet from an individual who has tested positive) will receive a letter or email from the school nurse with instructions to self-monitor for 14 days for COVID symptoms. These individuals will NOT be automatically excluded from school.

 

Per FERPA and HIPAA privacy laws, no additional information can be shared regarding individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

 

Q: What should a parent/guardian do if their student or another member of their household tests positive for COVID-19? 

A: Call your child’s school nurse or school administrator immediately. If you receive those positive test results after school closes or on the weekend, contact your school principal or assistant principal by email. Their email addresses are posted on the Staff Directory on each school’s website. The district nurse will help determine the quarantine period of a student whose family member tests positive.

 

After learning of a positive test of a student, the district nurse will send contact information for that student to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. School staff will also send DHEC the names and contact information of other students or staff who have had close contact to the individual with the positive test. As stated previously, you will be contacted by your child’s school nurse, followed up by an email with further instructions.

 

A student or staff member who tests positive will stay at home for at least 10 calendar days from the day positive results were received. If your child tested positive, his/her school-age brothers, sisters or other students in your home will also stay at home. Your child’s teacher will follow-up with you and/or your child about instruction.

 

Q: When can students and staff who test positive return to school?

A: Students and staff can return after the required isolation period; after 24 hours have passed since last fever without taking fever-reducing medicine; and with an overall improvement in symptoms. Those who test positive by a PCR test (mouth or throat swab) or similar viral test but do not have symptoms will be required to stay out of school until 10 days after the specimen was collected. For employees, documentation from a doctor is required.

 

*Note: Some people may be required to extend the isolation period to twenty (20) days. Their doctor will need to determine whether this is necessary.

 

Q: At what point would the district close a classroom or school due to COVID-19 cases? 

A: We would close an individual classroom when the number of confirmed positive student cases and students in quarantine reach 10 percent; we would close the school as a whole if the number of confirmed positive student cases and students in quarantine reach 10 percent as well. Closing a classroom or school for staff cases is dependent on the ability to get qualified substitute teachers. As long as the school can operate effectively from an instructional standpoint, we will remain open.

 

Q: What happens if the district decides to shift a classroom, grade level or school from face-to-face instruction to e-learning instruction only, due to positive COVID cases?

A: If the district makes a decision to shift a classroom, grade level or school from face-to-face instruction to remote instruction, parents/ guardians and staff will receive notification by email, phone call or other method as soon as possible. This is why keeping your contact information up to date is so important.  We will contact you using email or phone numbers kept in PowerSchool and used in Blackboard. If you are unsure whether the contact information on file with the school is correct, please contact the school at your earliest convenience to check on it.

 

A NOTE ABOUT STUDENT ATHLETES

 

These same protocols outlined above apply to student athletes. However, because some sports involve more direct physical contact, we evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis. We use this guidance from DHEC in evaluating:  “...with all sports and athletic activity, air is more forcefully expelled. Therefore, the standard measures used to identify close contacts have to be adjusted situationally for potentially shorter contact times at close distances. The standard measures for determining close contacts might be applied to pregame and postgame activity (locker rooms, warm-ups, bus or car travel, etc.) if social distancing measures were taken and are verified. The same might be applied for players and athletes while on sidelines or benches during the game. For athletes and players involved in games, matches, meets, etc., it is important to remember due to the nature of the activity, forcefully expelled air they potentially breathed in is likely to result in a more substantial exposure, even if it was short.”

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

 

Lexington Two continues to monitor COVID cases and to review guidance from CDC, DHEC, SC Department of Education, and other organizations and agencies as we make decisions about school. While we continue to use masks, social distancing, and other health and safety measures in our schools and facilities throughout the school day, we ask for your help at home in following these kinds of practices aimed at reducing the spread of COVID, so that we all are doing our part to reduce exposure and stay in school.