GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) Last week, Greenville County Schools announced the suspension of summer athletic activities until further notice, and suspending Academic Recovery Camps until at least July 20.
The decision came as coronavirus numbers in Greenville County dramatically rose in recent weeks.
Time Waller, with Greenville County Schools, says the district has received many questions surrounding the suspensions, and they want to provide answers.
WHEN WILL SUMMER SPORTS PRACTICES RESUME?
Greenville County Schools says the practices will only resume when they feel it's safe in accordance with the recommendations and advice of the medical and public health officials.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control recently released a four-page fact sheet to help school districts determine the risk of exposing students to the virus.
Metrics were pulled from three different categories:
- Number of cases in the last two weeks per 100,000 population
- Case direction (decreasing, stable, increasing)
- Number of positive results out of individual tests
They were assigned a label of low, medium or high, and then combined for an average.
On the day the metrics were released, Greenville County Schools said the county ranked high in all three categories.
The district said they felt they had no choice but to suspend all summer sports activities.
“Suspending practices was extremely disappointing because we were doing the right things,” said Darryl Nance, Director of Athletics for Greenville County Schools.
Though, despite students, coaches and especially parents going above and beyond to follow safety guidelines, Greenville County's coronavirus cases continues to spike.
“We were in an increasing COVID-19 environment with high transmission rates and the county ranked high in all three categories. Ultimately, it wasn’t worth the risk to continue summer practice,” Nance said.
Greenville County School officials say if school were to begin tomorrow, there'd be almost no doubt that it would have to be conducted virtually and fall sports and student activities would have to be canceled.
“It is vital that we take the appropriate actions now as recommended by the medical and public health professionals to minimize spread and reverse the rapidly increasing numbers of cases in our community and state. Reversing this disturbing trend now is essential for a return to a regular school setting in August and to allow for a Fall sports season,” said Dr. W. Burke Royster, Superintendent of Greenville County Schools.
The district says they're continuing to monitor conditions and will review their decision each time DHEC releases new information on the county's case count.
"Until then, we will adhere to the scientifically-based and medically-proven metrics DHEC has provided to school districts," the district says. "We must do better if our goal is to return to some semblance of normal."
Stay with FOX Carolina for updates.