DHEC updates K-12 COVID-19 guide, expands TTS to include childcare centers | News
DHEC updates K-12 COVID-19 guide, expands TTS to include childcare centers |  News

DHEC updates K-12 COVID-19 guide, expands TTS to include childcare centers | News

COLUMBIA, SC (FOX CAROLINA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that it has updated its COVID-19 Child Care Centers Guide to include a Test to Stay (TTS) recommendation, similar to the one already implemented by South Carolina school districts.

DHEC says it has also amended its COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools to include updated standards for masking and TTS requirements for sports and other recreational activities.

They say the changes to both documents are in response to the welcome drop in COVID-19 cases and reflect DHEC’s efforts to safely keep children in schools and active in their various interests outside the classroom.

“We are consistent in our position that recommendations should reflect the latest COVID-19 trends and data,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director in a press release. “We are pleased to see that the number of cases has fallen in recent weeks and we are updating our guidance to reflect this trend, while maintaining our focus on keeping children in person in school safe. When it is That said, we must continue to increase our vaccinations, mask where appropriate, and follow other protocols if we want to see this trend continue and ultimately end this pandemic. “

According to DHEC, the updated childcare guide states the following:

  • Children who are close contacts can avoid quarantine if they have no symptoms and are tested twice.
  • Children can be tested once on day three and again between days five and seven.
  • Tests can be a rapid antigen test or a PCR test with results within 24 hours or less.
  • Children are also strongly encouraged to wear a mask for 10 days if they are two years or older.

They also mentioned that staff should also follow the same TTS protocol for schools. These protocols are mentioned below:

  • No symptoms
  • Test at least once a day between five and seven days.
  • Another test, if available
  • Worn mask for 10 days.

Changes to K-12 manual are below:

  • Students may remove their mask as needed to participate in a leisure activity or sport after testing negative on day five or later.
  • Students must continue to wear a mask throughout the 10-day period.
  • DHEC no longer strongly recommends universal masking requirements in schools, but they strongly encourage individuals to mask.
  • They also mention two scenarios where masking is most necessary; when the school’s surrounding community has significant or high transmission; and when there are outbursts in a class.

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