South Carolina school districts receive metrics for low, medium and high COVID-19 spread

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – DHEC released a system they have established to determine Low, Medium and High spread of COVID-19 to South Carolina school districts Thursday.

The spread rating is based on three data points: two-week cumulative incidence rate, trend in incidence rate, and two-week percent positive rate.

DHEC will average the three categories to establish an overall rating of Low, Medium or High for each county.

According to recommendations from the AccelerateED Task Force, schools districts with a spread rating of Low should work on a modified traditional schedule. Districts with a Medium rating should work on a hybrid schedule with only a portion of staff and students in the physical school building.

Districts with a High rating are recommended to work on a full distance learning schedule with no students in the physical school building.

Right now, Greenville, Spartanburg, Pickens, Oconee, and Greenwood counties are are rated “High,” which means, if they follow the guidelines– they would have all classes online if they were to go back to school today.

Click here to see current county ratings.

Below is a breakdown of the data points and categories from DHEC:

Two-week cumulative incidence rate: The number of new cases in the prior two weeks per 100,000 people. This metric provides the recent incidence of COVID-19 infections in that county. Categorization (# cases/100,000 people):

Low: 0 – 50

Medium: 51 – 200

High: ≥ 201

Trend in incidence rate: Whether the two-week incidence rate is increasing, decreasing, or stable compared to the previous two weeks. For purposes of this assessment, consider the trends to be equivalent to:

o Decreasing = Low

o Stable = Medium

o Increasing = High

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 for each county. The metric takes into consideration the number of tests performed in the county in the prior two weeks. Categorization:

Low: ≤ 5.0%

Medium: 5.1 – 9.9%

High: ≥ 10.0%

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