DHEC releases guidance for K-12 schools in the upcoming year

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released their COVID-19 interim guidance for K-12 schools for the upcoming school year.

Officials say they strongly recommend mask use for all people inside, and wearing masks is required on school buses and other public transportation. Masks must be worn on buses due to a federal order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Authorities also say at least three feet of distance between each student should be maintained. DHEC says contact tracing is critical to help isolate cases and reduce transmission of the virus.

DHEC also encourages anyone eligible to get their vaccine.

“Our first priority is the safety of our children and teachers,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “That is why, above all else, we’re urging all eligible South Carolinians to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. The last thing we want is for COVID-19 to spread through our schools causing avoidable illness. Our students and educators deserve the right to learn and teach in a safe, healthy environment, and vaccinations will make that possible.  The use of masks and other precautions recommended in our guidance will also help ensure a safe, healthy environment in our schools especially with the emergence of the Delta variant.”

The health agency reported nearly 19,000 COVID-19 cases among students and faculty through June 18.

Click here to read DHEC’s full guidance for the upcoming school year.

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