More than 1,100 students quarantined in Aiken Public Schools

South Carolina News

FILE – In this Thursday, March 11, 2021 file photo, desks are arranged in a classroom at an elementary school in Nesquehoning, Pa. In the fall of 2021, vaccinated teachers and students should no longer wear masks inside school buildings and no one need bother with them outside, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, July 9, 2021, in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

AIKEN COUNTY S.C. (WJBF) — In the Aiken County Public School System (ACPSS), there are 1,112 students and more than 50 employees in quarantine due to coronavirus from August 15-21.

There are higher numbers in some grade levels compared to others. “Some of the higher numbers are in the middle and the high school level. We have some additional options available to us at the elementary level to keep students in classrooms and things of that nature,” explained Mike Rosier with ACPSS.

We’re told schools are trying to do their best in maintaining social distancing rules. “Some of the strategies include having students only travel one way around the school, in between classes, to kind of limit that crossing paths in the hallway type of thing,” Rosier shared. “Different schools had different strategies based on their buildings and how they are designed. We are definitely trying to create as much distance as we possibly can in every opportunity,” he added.

Disinfecting schools has been also been somewhat of a challenge.”We have lower numbers of custodians than at some schools. So we try to pull in other support staff to assist there. But it’s going on every single day and we’re doing the very best that we can, Rosier added.

Meanwhile, while school leaders say they can’t mandate for certain methods of mitigation practices, an incentive plan with 10 paid days of leave is now underway for staff when dealing with COVID-related issues. “Right now we can’t require masking, vaccinations. I probably can’t require anybody to wash their hands incentivizing vaccines, which I certainly appreciate will hopefully encourage more of our employees to be vaccinated,” Superintendent King Laurence said at a recent school board session.

The virus numbers will continue to be reviewed and we’re told changes will be made when needed. “We do have some state provisos those that, that limit the number of students that we can place in virtual, but we, you know, depending on what numbers we have in a certain school, we may have to be flexible and flexibility is key too,” Rosier shared.

The school district will release COVID-19 numbers for the previous week on its website.

You can find them on the Aiken County Public Schools website, by clicking here.

Take a closer look at the numbers below:

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