Decision came after DHEC released new COVID-19 metrics

Summer reading camps; student athlete practices postponed
Posted on 06/25/2020
sunshine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 25, 2020

District postpones summer reading camps
after DHEC releases new COVID metrics

BEAUFORT – The Beaufort County School District has postponed summer reading camps for students based on new COVID-19 metrics released Thursday by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The summer reading camps, which were scheduled to provide face-to-face instruction for children in grades K-8, will now begin July 20 instead of the originally scheduled July 6.  Practices for student athletes also will be postponed until at least July 20.

“Our No. 1 priority is protecting the health and safety of our students and employees,” said Superintendent Frank Rodriguez.  “The DHEC data we received this morning on Beaufort County’s increasing COVID-19 infection rates were disturbing, to say the least.  We will continue to monitor DHEC’s new weekly metrics and make the best decisions we can to keep everyone safe.”

DHEC’s data, prepared for the South Carolina Department of Education, are designed to provide every county with snapshots of COVID-19 infection rates.  The three metrics – two-week cumulative incidence rates, trends in incident rates and two-week percent positive rates – can be combined to rate individual counties as Low, Medium or High.

According to DHEC, Beaufort County now has a High rating in all three COVID-19 metrics and an overall rating of High.  Other South Carolina counties with High overall ratings were: Charleston, Colleton, Greenville, Greenwood, Horry, Kershaw, Laurens, Lexington, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Sumter and Williamsburg.  That list includes all of South Carolina’s coastal counties.

Here are DHEC’s new metrics:

  • Two-week cumulative incidence rate – The number of new cases in the prior two weeks (June 8-21) per 100,000 people. This metric provides the recent incidence of COVID-19 infections in each county.  Categorization (number of cases per 100,000 people): Low 0-50, Medium 51-200, High greater than 201.

  • Trend in incidence rate – Whether the two-week incidence rate is increasing, decreasing or stable compared to the previous two weeks (Increasing equals High, stable equals Medium, decreasing equals Low.

  • Two-week percent positive rate – The percentage of individuals who tested positive out of the number of individuals tested with a molecular (swab, or PCR) test in the last two weeks. The metric takes into consideration the number of tests performed in the county in the prior two weeks. Low means less than 5 percent, Medium is 5.1-9.9 percent, High is greater than 10 percent.