Merriweather Middle School goes to home learning

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 2:11 PM EDT
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EDGEFIELD COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Merriweather Middle School in Edgefield County has joined the list of local schools transitioning to home learning as a resurgent COVID outbreak sweeps the CSRA.

It comes as the super-contagious delta variant of coronavirus strikes local school districts like never before, affecting children more than the initial version of the virus.

Remote learning will begin Thursday for Merriweather students, the Edgefield County School District announced.

District officials said they are making the move due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines within the school population. The decision was made after consultation with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control experts.

School officials expect remote learning to extend through next week, with students returning to in-person learning Sept. 13.

The announcement came a day after we learned that more than 17 percent of Aiken County students are quarantined.

It also came after the Richmond County School System said it will transition all schools to home learning for two days after the Labor Day holiday.

School districts in McCormick and Bamberg counties as well as Williston have transitioned to home learning for at least the rest of this week.

Bamberg County School Districts 1 and 2 are going virtual due to the current COVID conditions in their schools. Students will be learning from Wednesday through Sept 8. Bamberg County district officials came to their decision due to the student/staff COVID positivity rates as well as the volume of quarantining. All staff except those in isolation or in quarantine are to report to schools and work at normal working times.

The Allendale County school district is also following a virtual learning model through Sept. 8.

The South Carolina districts are unable to mandate masks because of a state stipulation banning them from doing so — although the state Supreme Court this week heard arguments in legal cases seeking to strike down the proviso.

In Georgia, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey says spread of the virus is occurring in schools.

“We’re seeing a significant number of cases among school-aged children, and the number of cases has nearly quadrupled over the last couple of weeks, with the sharpest increase, the highest number of cases, in children aged 11 to 17,” she said.

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