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SDOC Continues to Monitor COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

posted Mar 10, 2020, 4:43 AM by The School District of Oconee County, SC
School District of Oconee County
The School District of Oconee County continues to monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. We are working to remain proactive in our approach to the situation and in communication with our schools and the community as a whole. We are staying abreast of the situation through communication with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the State Department of Education, as well as other local districts. 

The district has taken several steps to help students and staff stay healthy. We have developed basic guidelines concerning students/staff returning from domestic and international travel, as well as cleaning procedures and suggestions for limiting the spread of respiratory illnesses, which include the flu and Covid-19. Those guidelines include a 14-day quarantine for any student or staff returning from a country designated as a high-risk area by the CDC. We have added extra cleaning of desks, water fountains, door knobs, and other commonly touched surfaces with an EPA-registered disinfectant with a claim for human coronaviruses. We also continue to encourage everyone to practice proper handwashing; avoid frequent touching of the eyes, nose, and mouth; covering the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; and staying home when you’re sick.

The district leadership team has begun planning for some of the “what ifs” we could possibly face due to the virus. These discussions have included canceling or postponing events with large groups of people; canceling travel, particularly field trips; limiting visitors – parents, mentors, and others – to our schools; and even the possibility of school closure for a period of time. Please be assured, these discussions are taking place so we are prepared - not because they are about to happen in our district. Any decision on these areas would be in response to recommendations from state or federal agencies overseeing this effort. 

Dr. Molly Spearman released this statement Monday afternoon, “Any decisions regarding school closures or cancelling school events as a result of COVID-19 should not be made solely at the local level. Please consult with the State Superintendent of Education who will work with state health officials at DHEC and the Governor’s office for the final appropriate decision. In addition, any announcement of local cases should come from state DHEC officials. 

As a district, we are aware that this is a rapidly evolving situation in our nation and our state. A decision made today may need to be changed tomorrow based on new information. We will work to quickly and efficiently communicate information while doing our best to not contribute to or create panic.