On March 13, Governor McMaster ordered the closing of schools in Kershaw and Lancaster counties for the next two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That order also directs the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control to work with the state's education superintendent and local school leaders to decide when, and if, other school districts should close and for how long.
Prior to that Friday afternoon press conference, State Rep. Seth Rose, D-Richland, called upon Governor McMaster to go ahead and close all schools in the state through the end of March. Within two days of that Friday announcement, state leaders, including McMaster, made the call to close all schools beginning Monday, March 16.
Prior to March 13, DHEC did not advise events or schools to be canceled because it said there was no evidence of community spread coronavirus in schools. Clearly, that changed two days later.
Several state representatives are frustrated and calling on the governor to close all schools. Representative Seth Rose is one of those frustrated lawmakers.
“I’ve been waiting for some action to take place on why our children are still going to school and I personally would rather be safe than sorry," said Rose on March 13.
Some school districts have already took steps to prepare in case schools do close. At Richland One, all field trips have been suspended and visitor and volunteer access to schools has been restricted to parents, guardians, and emergency contacts.
The Department of Education said teachers are submitting virtual learning plans. Officials also say there is a plan to get school work together for students in Lancaster County and Kershaw County, who will not be in school for the next two weeks.
To see coverage from WIS-TV 10 NBC (Columbia, SC), please click here