Omicron Outbreak and New CCSD Policy


It’s not March 2020, but Covid-19 cases are rapidly spiking once again. This so-called ‘third wave’ has broken the previous new cases per day records, causing concern among the public. The outbreak can be attributed to the new omicron variant. Omicron originated in Botswana and South Africa, but has since spread around the world. Countries in Southern Africa and Europe have been hit the hardest, but the United States is close behind. Although Omicron is more transmittable than the original covid-19 virus, it seems to be less deadly. Regardless, new mask mandates are being implemented state-wide and school districts are changing their policies.

Nearly all districts have begun to re-implement mask mandates and some are even considering postponing school after winter break. CCSD has recently released a new policy in response to the outbreak.

From the Charleston County School District website: Face masks are required to be worn indoors, including all Clark County School District (CCSD) buildings, facilities, and on school buses by all individuals (ages two and older) regardless of vaccination status, unless an exemption has been approved due to a medical or a developmental condition that prohibits use.

Like it or not, the Charleston County School District has been relatively lenient with new policy. Most notably, social distancing and testing were left out. These rules are insignificant when compared to school districts in states such as California. For example, the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District in Southern California considered a delay to the start of school after break. Since then, they have implemented new policies requiring all students to receive a negative covid-19 test before returning to school. Furthermore, visitors to the school are not allowed and masks must be worn inside and outside at all times. With this perspective of other states, Charlestonians should consider themselves lucky, but should still exercise caution. Social distancing, indoor mask wearing, and 5-day isolation when exposed are encouraged in order to keep cases down in the Charleston County School district.

Everyone should keep in mind that new policies similar to those in California and school closures are possible in Charleston. Virtual education is simply not the same as being in school. Many students are out of school due to positive tests or exposure, so don’t let it be you! Stay safe and don’t take any day on the Academic Magnet campus for granted.