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Student COVID-19 testing increases as thousands become quarantined statewide

We're getting a closer look at what one Sumter testing site is seeing as thousands of students across the state and county quarantine due to the virus.

SUMTER, S.C. — Students across the state are becoming quarantined due to the virus.

This week, Danyelle Crowder's daughter joined the more than 2,300 Sumter School District students now quarantined, after 200 positive cases were found.

"Somebody from their hallway got exposed to COVID and they sent the whole hallway home," Crowder said. "She said, I want to go back to school. So, praying they can go back.”

Her next step is getting tested.

RELATED: Sumter County seeing a 'dramatic increase' in COVID cases, testing, doctors say

It's something Dr. David Justice, Chief Medical Officer at Tandem Health said he's seeing more and more of.

"I looked at our numbers for the month of August up through the 25th," Dr. Justice said, "and the mixture has shifted from primarily adults, which is what we had been seeing, to about 40 percent adults presenting for testing and about 60 percent of our patients have been pediatrics over that time period.”

Before this month, he said about 10% of those tested were positive, but now they're seeing an increase.

"It’s about 13% of the adults that presented for tested were positive," Dr. Justice said, "but 18% of the pediatrics patients were positive, so that’s a pretty high rate.”

RELATED: SC ban on school mask mandates has no clear penalty or way of enforcement, state leaders say

Crowder said she's just hoping her daughter can return soon.

"...because this virtual thing for the little kids is not going to work," Crowder said.

Dr. Justice said he's hoping vaccination will be a turning point.

"Obviously, we try to push for vaccination among adults and eligible children and adolescents that we should start to see these numbers start to come down somewhat," Dr. Justice said. "So, that’s our hope over the next coming weeks.”