Horry County Schools will not participate in COVID-19 rapid testing program

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Schools will not participate in rapid COVID-19 testing, the district said Monday.

At Monday night’s school board meeting, HCS superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey said they are opting out.

“Nobody knew the governor was going to do this,” school board chair Ken Richardson said. “I don’t think he really asked any of the schools about it.”

South Carolina school districts are getting 220,000 rapid COVID-19 tests, but none of them will be in Horry County schools. Dr. Maxey said testing would take up too much space and put more of a burden on school nurses, which could mean more sick children in classrooms.

“It is entirely possible that it would promote sending symptomatic students to school to get them tested,” he said.

Dr. Maxey said HCS will work with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on other projects.

“We will make available outside of school hours and over the holidays any Horry County Schools facility where DHEC wants to conduct a test,” he said.

HCS will keep its 14-day quarantine policy, even after the CDC said shorter periods could work.

“We knew that seven to 10 days after Thanksgiving, we were going to get inundated with positive results and quarantines,” said HCS health services director Tammy Trulove. “That has come to be true.”

The district is still installing plexiglass barriers, which it says can help kids safely return to class five days a week.

“We’re in hybrid instruction until we get all of our schools at the elementary level with this stuff right here,” Dr. Maxey said, while knocking on the plexiglass.

One father at the board meeting disagreed.

“This is wrong, in my mind, and in a lot of parents’ minds,” Justin Yarbrough said.

The district also said it’s getting additional help to try and reach its goal of installing plexiglass in all elementary schools by Dec. 23.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories