Kershaw Co. Schools ramp up cleaning after 2 students were potentially exposed to coronavirus

Camden community reacts to spread of coronavirus in small South Carolina town

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two high school students in Kershaw County have self-quarantined, along with their families, due to potential exposure to coronavirus.

One student attends North Central High School, and the other is a student at Camden High. The two were interning at KershawHealth last Tuesday and were in the emergency room with a patient who later tested positive for the virus.

Neither student had direct contact with the patient, and school officials say the chance that either student could have contracted the disease is very low. However, the school district is following KershawHealth’s protocol, and the students will be required to be in isolation for two weeks.

The school district has about 20 other students who are part of an internship program in several hospitals and urgent care facilities, but that program has been suspended.

This weekend, school officials said all facilities and buses were thoroughly cleaned. The school district is also implementing extra cleaning of surfaces that are frequently touched, like door knobs and desks.

Middle and high school students are no longer allowed to serve themselves in the cafeteria line, and a staff member will be entering each student’s meal code into a keypad to prevent students from touching the same surface before it can be cleaned.

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Kershaw County School District Community Relations Director, Mary Anne Byrd, says school officials have been in constant communication with parents and staff.

“Our safety for our children and our staff is always our highest priority, so we are taking this seriously,” she said. “We’re being proactive, and we want them to know that we care about their children, so we’re going to do all we need to do to make sure they’re safe.”

The district is asking parents to help them out. If your child is not feeling well, they ask that you keep them at home. However, school attendance policies have not changed in the wake of coronavirus concerns.

School officials say they are in constant contact with health professionals, and state and local government officials. If a student contracts the virus, the school district says it is prepared to follow their advice.

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Over at KershawHealth, the hospital is limiting patients to only one visitor, and that visitor must not be experiencing any respiratory symptoms or a fever. The hospital is also distributing masks and gowns according to prevention guidelines.

The hospital says it’s continuing to work closely with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and it’s following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it relates to the coronavirus situation in the Kershaw County community.

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