3 schools in Lancaster County go virtual due to COVID-19

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — Three schools in Lancaster County were forced to close last week after multiple staff members went into quarantine.

The district said there are four positive cases at Erwin Elementary School, which led to the quarantine of nine staff members.

The elementary school does not have enough faculty to support in-person learning, causing it to move to virtual learning until Nov. 30.

This comes after Clinton Elementary and A.R. Rucker Middle School also decided to go to virtual until Nov. 24 due to a staff shortage because of COVID-19.

Clinton Elementary said it has one positive COVID-19 case, and that 13 staff members and seven students are quarantining as a result.

There are four positive cases at A.R. Rucker Middle, with 12 staff members and 32 students currently quarantined.

Since September, 480 employees in the district have been out due to COVID-related reasons. Officials said 110 employees were out this week alone. There were 41 new COVID-19 cases in the schools last week, which was the most yet.

Lancaster Schools superintendent Jonathan Phipps got emotional speaking to Channel 9 on Monday. While he’s concerned, so are parents who are trying to explain the situation to their children.

“I have an employee I found out over the weekend who is back in the hospital for the second time, who’s positive,” Phipps said. “I have a principal who’s back at work, and she can’t walk across the room without losing her breath.”

The high school also had to be shut down for a couple weeks because of staffing shortages, but it has since been reopened.

The district school board will be meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. to discuss the situation.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.