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DHEC updates COVID-19 guidance for South Carolina schools

SC Department of Health and Environmental Control also supports recommendation for Moderna booster after 5 months

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced it has updated the department's COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools booklet in the wake of the increasing number of positive cases in the state.

The booklet provides information on quarantine and isolation periods -- which have shortened in length -- for students, staff and parents

A close contact person may now shorten the quarantine period if they meet the following requirements:

  • they have no symptoms
  • they test negative on a viral test (PCR or antigen) on or after Day 4 of the exposure
  • they must wear a mask through day 10 at all times (except for eating or drinking), or when outdoors and more than six feet away from others.

RELATED: SC sets new all-time record for cases again: 16,630

Schools now have two additional options for operation during the pandemic:

  • schools can issue a 10-day quarantine period where a close contact can end quarantine after Day 10 without testing if the individual is showing no symptoms of the virus
  • schools can implement a Test to Stay program using rapid tests to allow those with negative test results to remain in the classroom and avoid quarantine.

A student or staff member who is COVID-19 positive may return to school after Day 5 from symptom onset as long as they have no fever and their other symptoms are significantly improving, and they must wear a mask through Day 10. If someone ending isolation or quarantine early after five days chooses not to wear a mask, they must observe a 10-day isolation or quarantine period.

DHEC is also adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for adults to receive the Moderna booster five months after the completion of their initial vaccination series.

DHEC encourage COVID-19 vaccines for ages 5 and up and booster shots for all who are eligible. Find a vaccination site near you on our vaccine locator or by calling our Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110.