IRMO, S.C. — Lexington-Richland School District Five joins school districts across the state working to make sure students are safe and healthy as they return to the classroom.
However, if a student does test positive for the coronavirus, the district has procedures in place.
"The school nurse will immediately report that case to [The State Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)] and we will start that process of contact tracing and we will also initiate the quarantine procedures for that student," Joanna Stanek, their nursing and health services supervisor, said.
According to DHEC, the standard quarantine period is two weeks for those in close contact with a positive case, but it doesn't mean the entire class will have to stay home.
"The entire class will be notified that that there is a positive case in that class and then we will look at that classroom and decide who in the classroom is considered to be a close contact and we will, with that information, reach out to those families and give them additional guidance," Stanek said.
Affected areas will also be sanitized, according to Stanek, procedures put to the test this week after a university intern tested positive at Chapin Elementary School.
The district says they closed all areas of the building the intern used to clean and cancelled early instruction at the campus as a precaution.
This happened as students who chose face-to-face learning are scheduled to begin classes next week.
When asked if a positive case during the semester could lead to school closures, Stanek said they'll have to operate on a case-by-case basis.
"We will follow DHEC guidelines very closely," Stanek said, "...and we will make our decisions based on what's in the best interest of the safety and health of our students and our staff."
To find Lexington-Richland School District Five's full return plan, visit their website.