Only 2 virtual schools in South Carolina as week begins, officials say


For the first time in a while, South Carolina began this week with no fully virtual school districts and just two virtual public schools.

The update comes as some state health officials think the Palmetto State is "beyond the peak" of the third COVID-19 surge.

A state Department of Education spokesman shared schools' operational status information with The Sumter Item on Monday afternoon and attributed declines in fully remote learning to lower virus transmission rates and spread in South Carolina.

Only C.E. Williams Middle School, based in Charleston County School District, and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, based in Spartanburg, were virtual as the week began, according to Ryan Brown, chief communications officer with the state department.

Brown noted that the state's percent positive transmission rate, according to the state public health department, has declined in the last couple weeks.

At one point earlier this month, about 100 schools were fully virtual across the state.

Michael Sweat, director of the Center for Global Health at the Medical University of South Carolina, told The Post and Courier on Saturday that a peak in the delta variant surge is evident.

"I think we are beyond the peak," Sweat said. "If you look at the current wave of COVID-19 cases, we are trending downward much like other states with an initial summer wave who are on track to see declines in cases."

However, Sweat added he anticipates another spike in the winter season.