The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) new data report regarding public and private schools in the county showed less than five virus cases among the staff at Aynor High, Ocean Drive Elementary, and Socastee Middle.
However, St. James High, Calvary Christian, Conway Christian and Holy Trinity Catholic School all report less than five students each with the virus.
The report is updated every Tuesday and Friday.
Across South Carolina, 195 cases of COVID-19 are reported among the state's students, and 101 among school employees for a total of 296 school-related cases in the state.
DHEC officials said that if there are fewer than five student cases or fewer than five staff cases associated with a school, the number of cases will be represented as less than five or <5.
"The specific number for less than five individuals isn't provided as a standard practice for protecting confidentiality, since reporting such a small number of cases could lead to individuals being identified," DHEC officials said.
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DHEC said that this report will include for each school a cumulative and rolling 30-day count of confirmed cases among students, teachers, and faculty members.
The reporting does not mean that students, faculty or staff contracted the virus at school, DHEC said in a release this week.
“Unlike a nursing home, where residents live at the facility, students, teachers, and faculty come and go from school and are active in their community, and could come in contact with the virus outside of a school setting,” DHEC officials said.
College students will not be captured in this data, DHEC said, and will only include kindergarten through twelfth grade students, and only those who physically attend school on a regular basis will be included in the counts.
Sports coaches, tutors, part-time employees, kitchen staff, custodial and maintenance workers and other employees with a physical presence at the school will be included.
Students who participate in virtual instruction but are on campus regularly for extracurricular activities will be included as well.
DHEC said that some schools may choose to announce cases themselves before they are reflected in the reports, which may have a delay as the agency receives, reviews, and confirms information, before posting it online.
Some private schools in Horry County began August 17, and public schools in Horry County began on a hybrid, split schedule on Tuesday, with students attending two days in-person, and for the other three days will use distance learning.
The way the students attend could change every other week, depending on DHEC data regarding the disease activity spread. Data indicates students will be hybrid through Sept. 18, and the DHEC report that comes out this Monday will determine how students attend the following week.