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Orangeburg County School District faces challenges related to COVID-19

Due to the recent surge of positive cases in the area, the Orangeburg County School District moved 100% online through Winter Break.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — According to the Orangeburg County School District, since March, 276 students and 275 employees have quarantined because of the coronavirus.

"When we returned from the Thanksgiving break, we saw a significant increase in positive cases in students," said Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster.

Due to the recent surge of positive cases in the area, the school district moved 100% online through winter break.

"We're a vital part of the community," said Dr. Foster. "What we do could potentially hurt the other services in the community. Whether it be the hospital system or law enforcement."

The school district also temporarily suspended all athletic practices and games until further notice, after four student-athletes tested positive for the virus. Dr. Foster says the school board will discuss whether the school district will participate in DHEC's rapid testing in Tuesday's board meeting.

RELATED: Orangeburg County Council members say the recent surge of cases is alarming

"This isn't a circumstance whether students or staff take a test then go," explained Dr. Foster. "It's not that simple; there more aspects involved. We want to make sure we evaluated all aspects of this, determine what's best for the school district and if we even have the personnel or space to do the testing."

The End-of-Course-Examination-Program (EOCEP) was scheduled for December 7th, but it is postponed until January 14th.

RELATED: Orangeburg County sees a spike in COVID-19 cases