The Aiken County Public School District reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 among staff and students between Sept. 6-12.
The report does not specify COVID-19 numbers at the school level. It lists a range of one to five students or employees with the virus at the following schools and departments:
• Belvedere Elementary School (student)
• Cyril A. Busbee Elementary School (employee)
• Freedman Early Learning Center (employee)
• Graniteville Elementary School (student)
• North Aiken Elementary School (student)
• Oakwood Windsor Elementary School (employee)
• Paul Knox Middle School (student and employee)
• Redcliffe Elementary School (student)
• Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School (student)
• Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle School (student)
• Ridge Spring-Monetta High School (student)
• South Aiken High School (student)
• Special Programs (employee)
• Wagener Salley High School (student)
As of Sept, 12, 195 students and employees in the school district are quarantined, according to a press release from the school district.
No hospitalizations have been reported related to positive cases reported in Aiken County Public Schools, according to the press release.
The school district's Back-to-School Advisory Committee reviewed this data at its Wednesday meeting, the press release states.
At its scheduled Oct. 5 meeting, the committee plans to vote on and forward a recommendation to the school board related to a possible return to five-day, in-person instruction for elementary school and special education students. The board will consider this recommendation at its Oct. 6 meeting.
The school district conducts contact tracing for positive cases that may have exposed other people to the virus.
"Each case reported is investigated to determine whether or not the individuals confirmed to be positive were on campus during the period of time they would have been considered contagious," reads the press release. "If they were, we conduct interviews to determine if they were in close contact, defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer, with anyone else (staff or student). Any close contacts were notified individually, and the contacts’ names were also reported to DHEC."
Additionally, the school district sends a general notification to a student's cohort if no close contacts were identified, according to the press release.
On Tuesday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported cases at 12 Aiken County schools. DHEC's list of schools is different from that of the school district, and district officials said the two organizations may receive and verify information at different times.
DHEC only reports cases for people who attended school or a school-sponsored event while infectious, while the school district reports all cases among students and staff which also leads to differences in the lists.
Last week, the school district reported 11 new cases, though some of those may have overlapped with the previous reporting period in which 11 new cases were also found.