Beaufort Co. schools break COVID case record for 2nd week in a row; 2,700 quarantine

Drew Martin/dmartin@islandpacket.com
·1 min read

Beaufort County School District has again broken its record for COVID cases reported in a single week, with more than 700 teacher and student infections logged Jan. 17-21.

Nine schools in the district reported more than 30 student infections last week. Bluffton’s River Ridge Academy had the highest number of infections with 67.

In total, the district reported between 642 and 648 student infections and between 83 and 140 staff infections. That’s up from 614 total infections the week before.

Quarantine numbers remained high, with between 53 and 107 staff and between 2,646 and 2,649 students quarantining. That’s also up from last week’s total, 2,218, though it’s still below September’s 3,000-plus weekly quarantine numbers.

That’s likely because the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control changed school quarantine requirements for the spring semester, shortening quarantine periods and in some cases eliminating them altogether.

However, there could be a turning point soon for the schools. As of Wednesday, the seven-day average of COVID infections in Beaufort County is down to 263 infections per day; on Jan. 18, it was 378.

This indicates that the Lowcountry has hit the “peak” of the omicron surge and will likely see a dramatic decrease in cases, mirroring the infection rates in South Africa where the variant was originally reported.

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