AIKEN, S.C (WJBF) – In today’s report to South Carolina DHEC, Aiken County Schools released their COVID-19 numbers from the school week of August 22nd through August 28th. The school system reported 298 students with active COVID-19 cases and 43 employees.

These numbers, though, are disproportionately impacting separate schools. Whereas some schools saw less than five student cases last week, South Aiken High had 28 active student COVID-19 cases, more than 2%, among their student population. At South Aiken High School last week, this resulted in 573 student quarantines, meaning that more than 41% of the school were unable to show up for full-time in-person instruction last week.

The district office had the most number of impacted staff with 7 employees with active COVID-19 cases.

The numbers from the week before, starting August 15th, have more than doubled for active student COVID-19 cases and almost quadrupled for student quarantines. During that week, student cases were at 147 and 1,112 students were quarantined.

Last week, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Health changed their “close contact’ guidelines for quarantining, increasing the distance from 3 feet to 6 feet for the required distance with which close contact is defined for those spending 15 or more minutes (within a 24-hour-period) in the presence of a COVID-19 positive individual.

Friday, South Carolina Department of Education began enforcing mask requirements on school buses, a rule which it had previously relaxed in early July.