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First numbers of COVID cases involving South Carolina schools released

For the first time, the state's health agency is releasing data about number of coronavirus cases involving schools.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's health agency for the first time is releasing data about the number of coronavirus cases involving schools, which shows over 150 cases. 

Late Friday afternoon with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) unveiled its new interactive online resource that provides COVID-19 cases associated with students, faculty and staff and all kindergarten-12 grade public and private schools in the state.

DHEC said the cases are from students and employees who attended school or school sponsored activities during their infectious period. 

The numbers show a total of 158 cases statewide, with 89 of those involving students and 69 school employees. Currently, some school districts have not opened, some are virtual, and others are working on a hybrid model. 

It’s important to remember that this reporting does not mean that students, faculty or staff contracted the virus at school; only those students, faculty and staff who physically attend school or a school’s campus on a regular basis will be included in the counts; and some schools may choose to self-announce cases before they are reflected in DHEC’s twice-weekly reports.

People who use the tool can search statewide by scrolling through a list or by school district. 

DHEC said earlier this week in a news release, the numbers would be coming Friday. The school reporting dashboard is available at scdhec.gov/COVID19schools. The information within the school reporting dashboard will be updated twice weekly, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons.

DHEC said it may work to make improvements to this online resource in the coming days as it receives and reviews feedback on the reporting system.

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