As COVID surges, 5 more Richmond County schools go to virtual learning

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 3:46 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the first week from winter break comes to an end, Richmond County School System is moving five more schools to a home learning model after announcing that same transition for six schools earlier in the week.

That makes a total of 11.

On Friday, the district said A. Brian Merry, Barton Chapel, Diamond Lakes, Monte Sano, and Terrace Manor Elementary Schools will transition to home learning from Monday through Wednesday, students will return for in-person instruction on Thursday.

The announcement came a day after the district said Tobacco Road, Wheeless Road and W.S. Hornsby elementary schools and Laney High School will transition to home learning from Friday through Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the district said Sue Reynolds Elementary and Jenkins-White elementary schools would go to the home learning model from Thursday through Monday.

Students just returned from winter break on Tuesday.

All the transitions are being blamed on increased staff absences due to the COVID surge that’s being driven by the ultra-contagious omicron variant of coronavirus.

While the campuses are closed, meals are available for pickup on school days from the side entrance of the school cafeterias between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“The Richmond County School System will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials to ensure the proper recommendations are followed to clean and disinfect our school facilities and act in the best interest of our students, teachers and staff,” the district said in a statement.

Aiken County

The Aiken County school district has put out guidance on COVID protocol. Here’s a look at the guidelines:

The isolation period for someone positive may end after Day 5 provided all criteria to end isolation have been met. A mask must be worn through day 10.

  • The quarantine period for someone exposed to a positive case may end early after Day 5 with a negative provider test administered no earlier than Day 4 and no symptoms. A mask must be worn through day 10.
  • To be exempt from quarantine if identified as a close contact, you must have received all vaccine doses you are eligible for (completed initial vaccination series and booster for ages 18 and up, or completed initial vaccination series for ages 5-17).
  • Students and employees should stay home if they are not feeling well. Parents should contact the school nurse if a student cannot come to school. Employees should complete the appropriate reporting form online under I Am, An Employee, Coronavirus Information.

The following changes are being implemented to our COVID protocols per state guidance:

  • Individuals who are positive will isolate for 5 days. The individual may return to school/work on Day 6 if they meet the following criteria:
  • 5 days have passed since symptoms began or date of test if no symptoms
  • 24 hours have passed since last fever without taking medicine to reduce fever
  • Overall improvement in symptoms
  • Mask must be worn Days 6-10
  • Unvaccinated close contacts without symptoms may return to school/work on Day 6 with a negative test collected no earlier than Day 4. Masks must be worn through Day 10.
  • DHEC is now using the term maximally vaccinated for people who have completed their primary series and have had a booster shot, if eligible. Anyone eligible that does not have a booster after 6 months from the last dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or after 2 months of their Johnson and Johnson vaccine, is not considered maximally vaccinated.

Columbia County

The Columbia County School System on Wednesday sent parents a letter explaining changes to educate kids while keeping them safe.

Read the letter:

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