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Coronavirus FAQ - 3/12/2020

posted Mar 12, 2020, 6:20 AM by The School District of Oconee County, SC   [ updated Mar 12, 2020, 11:03 AM ]
Due to the rapidly changing situation, these answers may change at any point.

Q. Do you plan to close schools for an extended length of time?
A. Any decision to close schools will be made in consultation with DHEC, the SC Department of Education
(SCDOE) and the Governor’s office. At the current time, the SCDOE has not recommended closing schools.

Q. If schools close, will there be any e-learning like other districts do on inclement weather days?
A. Discussions on how to best meet the instructional needs of students in the event of an extended closure are
happening now. Our instructional department is working on a plan to provide alternate methods of instruction
for students during a closure to help minimize impact on student learning. We are aware that some in our district
do not have home internet access. Therefore, we understand the need to develop ways to provide extra
instruction for those students upon return to school.

Q. Will we have to make up the days if schools close?
A. That decision would come from the SCDOE and the legislature. We would anticipate they would work with
local districts in a similar way as when we miss more than normal days for weather issues.

Q. What about school events like concerts, athletics, field trips, and others?
A. At this time, DHEC and the SCDOE are not recommending canceling school activities, events or field trips.
This is being closely monitored and we are in contact with both agencies to keep up to date of any new protocols
for our schools. As the situation evolves, SDOC may cancel trips based on travel advisories from the CDC. As
always, parents reserve the right to limit their children's participation in field trips due to safety concerns. SDOC
cannot guarantee refunds on prepaid travel expenses. However, we have asked trip organizers to reach out to
travel partners in regards to possible refunds if cancellation is necessary.

Q. I’m traveling for spring break, should I go?
A. Each individual family will need to make their own travel decisions. It is possible that you may have to self-
quarantine upon return based on CDC Travel Health Notices or directives from a state or federal agency. As of
today, CDC Level 3 nations, (which would require self-quarantine) includes China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
This means that a student or employee who has traveled to or lives with people who have traveled to one of
those areas are required to self-quarantine and will not be permitted to attend school until the 14-day quarantine
period passes. Additionally, those individuals who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with
COVID-19 are expected to self-quarantine and refrain from attending school for 14 days from the day of last

Both the CDC and the US State Department have given specific advisories for cruise ship travel. Both agencies
have advised US citizens against traveling by cruise ship during the COVID-19 outbreak, especially those with
underlying health conditions. For those who have been on a cruise ship, the CDC recommends monitoring your
health, limiting your interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the U.S. In addition, if a case of COVID-
19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, you will be required to stay home during these 14 days and
practice social distancing. Please visit the following sites for more information

Q. I’m an employee, will I have to use annual leave if I have to quarantine or test positive for COVID-19?
A. It is our understanding at this time that employees would need to use annual leave days. However, there
has been discussion of federal intervention to come alongside individuals and families affected by the virus. We
will comply with any federal or state directive concerning time away from work due to COVID-19.

Q. If I choose not to send my child to school due to concern about the virus, will those days be excused?
A. We encourage parents to be cautious in keeping students at home at this point considering there are no cases in our local area.  With that being said, we do have students, or family members of students, with compromised immune systems or other health concerns that are at higher risk than most.  In light of this, the decision on whether missed days would be excused will have to be made on a case by case basis.