Aiken County schools ease COVID rules amid new guidance

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 5:56 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Across the CSRA, COVID cases are declining, prompting the Aiken County Public School District to loosen up restrictions for students to return to normalcy.

Aiken County Public School District reported 17 students with COVID, and 262 students quarantining. That’s compared to Jan. 14 when 553 students were tested positive, and more than 3,000 students were in quarantine.

“Another step toward where we would like to be,” said Mike Rosier, director of communications for the district.

New guidance from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is putting a pause on “Test to Stay” and quarantine protocols in South Carolina schools.

Schools must have two straight weeks where less than 10 percent of students and staff test positive for COVID.

“That’s the kind of news we’ve been looking forward to for quite some time,” Rosier said.

In addition, starting March 1, all outside visitors will be allowed back into schools after nearly two years.

The school district is also reinstating field trips, sports activities, and on-campus events like prom back into action.

“Athletic tournaments that are taking place out of our area that would require an overnight stay, activities moving forward,” he said.

Aiken school leaders say isolation requirements are still in place for positive cases. DHEC also says masking of close contacts with no symptoms can stop, and the school continues to report numbers of cases weekly.

“Close contacts are still being identified. People are still quarantined for the rest of this week,” Rosier said.

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