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 the 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 families, employees and the public informed, Lexington Two provides a look at the previous week's *new* confirmed positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff in our schools. This list is from the district's nurses, working in concert with DHEC, and updates are posted to this space each Monday. The numbers listed are not cumulative week over week and only represent the number of *new* confirmed positive COVID-19 cases reported during the previous week. It is worth noting that the district's numbers often differ from DHEC's, primarily due to the frequency of case updates (once a week vs. twice a week), as well as timing of notifications.

 

Positive cases in schools are not necessarily the result of students or staff members contracting 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.

 

NOTE: Families can keep up with the district's latest COVID updates, resources and communications at Lex 2.0, on the district website. Find it here.

 

*New* confirmed positive cases, reported July 19-25 (should confirmation of additional positive cases be reported, they will be added to this list):

 

AIRPORT HIGH SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 2

 

BROOKLAND-CAYCE HIGH SCHOOL

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 1

 

BUSBEE CREATIVE ARTS ACADEMY

Confirmed positive staff cases: 0

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

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: 1

 

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: 1

 

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: 1

Confirmed positive student cases: 0

 

LAST WEEK'S TOTALS

Staff cases: 1

Student cases: 5

 

PREVIOUS WEEK'S TOTALS (July 12-18)

Staff cases: 0

Student cases: 5

 

 

NOTIFICATIONS 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.

  

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. Contact tracing will begin immediately when schools are in session.

 

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.

 

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

 

Q: What happens when a student is identified as a close contact?

A: Anyone determined to have been in close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual must be excluded/quarantined from school and monitored daily for symptoms. 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 of someone at school will receive a phone call from the school nurse during regular school hours (or the next day school is open, following a weekend or holiday), 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.

 

If an exposed student identified as a close contact experiences no symptoms during daily monitoring, and the exposure occurred at school, the exclusion/quarantine from school can end after 10 days. If the exposure occurred with someone in the household, the exclusion/quarantine from school can end after 14 days.

 

Q: Is a student who was in the same classroom as a positive COVID case, but is not identified as a close contact, required to quarantine?

A: Anyone who has been in a classroom or other area of the school with a COVID-19 positive individual but not determined 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.

 

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 immediately during regular school hours. For positive cases over the holidays or during school breaks, please visit your school’s website and follow the link for reporting (see section below). Your child’s school nurse will follow up with you the next school day.

 

Q: When can a student who has tested positive for COVID return to school?

A: For students who test positive for COVID-19, they may return after a quarantine of 10 days since diagnosis and 24-hours fever-free with an overall improvement in symptoms.

 

Q: What about staff members who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as close contacts to a positive case?

A: Lexington Two employees who test positive positive will stay home for at least 10 calendar days from the day positive results were received. Staff members cannot return to work until after a negative PCR test.  Documentation from a doctor is required.

 

If an exposed staff member identified as a close contact experiences no symptoms during daily monitoring, exclusion/quarantine from school can end:

  • After day 7, when the staff member receives a negative PCR test (taken on day 5 or thereafter)
  • After day 10, with no testing 

 

*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 and move those students to remote instruction when the number of confirmed positive student cases reaches 5 percent. 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. A school as a whole can be moved to virtual instruction prior to reaching the 5% threshold, if for example the school sees a significant increase in positive cases within a short time. 

 

Q: What happens if the district decides to temporarily shift a classroom, grade level or school from face-to-face instruction to virtual 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 with your child's school 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. It should be noted that when a school has been moved to virtual instruction, the school will be closed.  There will be no extracurricular activities, events, athletics, practices, games, and so on, until in-person learning resumes, in order to best assist in mitigation efforts.

 

REPORTING POSITIVE COVID-19 CASES DURING HOLIDAY/SCHOOL BREAKS

 

While Lexington Two students are home on breaks from school, the district requests that parents/legal guardians still fill out an information form to report a child's confirmed positive COVID-19 case, as well as close contacts and related information. 

 

Click this link to access the reporting form:

 

District Summer Covid 19 Reporting

 

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.”

 

WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU HAVE ABOUT THE VACCINE?

 

DHEC offers a page, updated as new information is available, on COVID-19 vaccines. Here is the link: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine/covid-19-vaccine-faqs

 

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.