WARE SHOALS, SC (FOX Carolina) - Just a week into the new school year, Ware Shoals School District 51 officials say at least 5 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported, and 70 students are in quarantine.
Thursday was day 6 of the 2021-22 school year at the district.
"I'm not surprised that we're experiencing this. It's just the spotlight is on us because we're one of a very few schools that are already in session," said Ware Shoals School District Superintendent Dr. Fay Sprouse.
This outbreak at the beginning of the year is leaving some parents feeling uneasy.
"It's scary and hopefully we won't have to go back to E-learning, hopefully we can stay with 5 days a week," said a parent of two at the district.
Sprouse says the 70 students in quarantine are there because they are close contacts and not vaccinated.
"In our schools now we can't really socially distance because everybody is back and there's just not enough space to spread everyone out. So if you're within 6 feet, whether masked or not masked, you're a close contact if you're there for 15 minutes or longer," she explained.
We asked Sprouse if the district will change anything to address the outbreak.
She says there is not a lot they can do with the current laws in place, but they will continue all their cleaning procedures, are considering requiring masks on school buses, and students in primary and middle school will eat lunch in their classrooms.
The parent we spoke to believes the district is doing what they can to keep everybody safe.
"Just the entire district has done a great job with responding to every case and every possible case and hopefully we won't have to worry about it much longer. We're going to continue masking up and we're vaccinated, hopefully more people will be vaccinated."
In a message to the community, Sprouse is asking that students and staff stay home if they are sick, and if parents want their children tested for COVID-19 to contact their school's nurse.