August 5, 2021 - Mask Update and COVID-19 Exclusion Information
Updated guidance from the SC Department of Education states that masks are not required on school buses at this time but their wear is highly recommended. DHEC strongly recommends mask use for all people when indoors in school settings, especially when physical distancing is not possible; however, mask use cannot be mandated per the SC General Assembly. Masks are now required on buses per SDE - updated 8/26/2021.
Exclusion Due to Illness or Symptoms
One of the critical strategies for maintaining a healthy school community is for students and staff to stay home when sick. As always, if your child has certain symptoms such as fever or worsening cough, they should remain at home and seek medical attention if appropriate.
Students must be excluded from school per DHEC guidance as follows:
- based on close contact with an individual who has contracted COVID-19.
- receiving a positive COVID-19 test result.
- experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms.
Exclusion Due to Close Contact
Students must be excluded from school for a minimum of 10 days if they have been in close contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet (3 feet within a school) of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Mask use does not affect the definition of a close contact at school.
Fully vaccinated students or students who have a verified COVID-19 diagnosis in the previous 90 days are not required to be excluded unless they develop symptoms. Students may voluntarily choose to provide documentation of their full vaccination status to eliminate the need for exclusion. DHEC recommends that fully vaccinated students take a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days of exposure, even if they do not have symptoms.
All students who are identified as close contacts should wear a mask for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result.
Exclusion Due to a Positive Test
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 must be excluded from school attendance for a minimum of 10 days.
- Symptomatic Students - students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must remain excluded for at least 10 days from the start of symptoms. Also, students must be free of fever greater than 100.4 for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication prior to their return. Symptoms must also have improved during this time or the exclusion may be extended.
- Asymptomatic Students - students who are asymptomatic but have tested positive for COVID-19 must be excluded from school for 10 days following the administration of the test. Students may be excluded longer if symptoms develop.
Students are subject to exclusion for a positive COVID-19 test regardless of their vaccination status or a prior COVID-19 diagnosis.
Exclusion Due to Symptoms
Students must be excluded if they experience COVID-19 related symptoms:
- Any one (1) of the following:
- Fever of 100.4 or greater
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New or worsening cough
- Loss of taste or smell
- Any two (2) or more of the following:
- Sore throat
- Muscle Aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Students who display COVID-19 related symptoms are to be excluded from school until they:
- receive a negative COVID-19 test.
- complete a minimum of 10 days of exclusion with improved symptoms including bring free of a fever greater than 100.4 without the use of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours prior to their return.
- present a physician’s or other clinical note attributing symptoms to another more likely condition.
Students are subject to exclusion due to COVID-19 related symptoms regardless of their vaccination status or a prior COVID-19 diagnosis.
Student Learning during Exclusion
Students will be provided the opportunity to complete school work from home during exclusion periods. Parents or students should contact their teachers for assignments.
Student Exposure as a Non-Close Contact
Since COVID-19 may be community-acquired, exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual may occur any time your student is in public including their time at school. As such, we will not continue the practice of sending no-close contact letters for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents will be notified if their student is a close contact of a known COVID-19 positive individual at school.
Students should be monitored daily for COVID-19 related symptoms and stay home if they are sick.
Full DHEC Guidance:
DHEC School Exclusion List