Clarendon School District 2 students are set to return to classrooms after the district announced Thursday it will return to in-person learning week starting Monday, Sept. 20.
The Manning-based school district temporarily closed schools to students in person for two weeks since Sept. 6, opting for virtual schooling because of a surge of COVID-19 cases and an increase of students and staff in quarantine. The district first made the switch to virtual instruction after the Labor Day weekend and extended it last Thursday for Sept. 13-17.
According to a statement, Superintendent Shawn Johnson said he hoped the two-week virtual instruction would help decrease the number of active cases in the schools. The district had to quarantine nine additional students and staff since Sunday, Sept. 12, bringing the total to 590 students and staff who have been quarantined since the beginning of the school year.
According to state Department of Education data, several schools across the Midlands were forced to temporarily close school buildings and move back to virtual learning due to high numbers of infections of COVID-19 in early September. While most have returned to in-person learning, Clarendon 2 and Dorchester School District 4 stayed remote, marking the only two full districts to go virtual.
Dorchester returned to virtual instruction on Sept. 2 and plans to return to in-person instruction on Sept. 20.
Clarendon 2 strongly encouraged students and staff to wear masks and maintain social distancing of 3 feet.
Officials also advised for them to get the COVID-19 vaccine for those who are eligible. According to a state public health data, 53% of eligible Clarendon County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Adults 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is fully approved by the FDA.
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