COVID-19 means virtual school booms in South Carolina’s largest district

COVID-19 means virtual school booms in South Carolina’s largest district
A member of the media takes a picture inside a school bus set up for social distancing during a media demonstration at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering Monday, July 20, 2020, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) (Chris Carlson)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — About a third of the students in South Carolina’s largest school district don’t plan to attend school in person next school year.

The Greenville County School District said Tuesday that more than 23,000 of its 77,000 students picked its virtual program, which requires a yearlong commitment to staying outside a school building.

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Most districts across the state are offering virtual school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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While the increase in new cases has slowed, health officials say hospitals will be strained if the virus keeps spreading at its current high rates.

Outside the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, special tents are going up for what the hospital calls an “alternative care site.”