Columbus Schools extend all-virtual learning; Horry to open classrooms Tues.; big COVID case increases

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases have prompted the Columbus County Schools to extend its current all-virtual format for two more weeks, while students in the Horry County Schools will begin returning to classrooms next Tuesday.

     Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic continues, unabated, with significant new cases numbers in both counties reported Wednesday.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • About face: CC Schools extends virtual all classes
  • Horry schools to resume hybrid instruction Tues.
  • COVID cases up by 233 in Horry
  • Columbus records 81 new infections

 About face: CC Schools extends virtual all classes

     Concerns over rising COVID-19 cases have prompted the Columbus County Schools to extend 100 percent virtual instruction for students until Feb. 1, the district announced Wednesday.

     That announcement came less than two days after Board of Education members were told those students would be back in the classroom next Tuesday, the day after a previously scheduled Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., birthday holiday break.

     “Due to spiking numbers, Columbus County Schools Board of Education has decided to keep schools 100% virtual until February 1st,” the announcement said. “We apologize for the change, and understand this is a major inconvenience. We are trying to keep all adults and children safe, and we believe that an additional two weeks will help that to occur.”

Horry schools to resume hybrid instruction Tues.

     A return to the “hybrid instructional model” for the Horry County Schools is scheduled for next Tuesday, the day after a previously scheduled Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. holiday break, the district announced Wednesday.

     “Students who are in groups A and G will return to the brick-and-mortar schools  on Tuesday, Jan. 19, while students in group B will return to the brick-and-mortar schools on Wednesday, Jan. 20,” the announcement said. “School district leaders “continue to monitor COVID-19 related datapoints for decisions regarding school operational plans.”

     COVID-19 cases and deaths are up sharply this month in Horry County, case numbers reflected in the schools. A total of 114 active cases were recorded in the schools Wednesday afternoon, 62 students and 52 staff members, data from the district’s COVID-19 Case Dashboard showed.

 COVID cases up by 233 in Horry

     It’s another day of more than 200 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases for Horry County reported by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

     Online data showed 233 newly confirmed cases for Horry Wednesday, including 21 cases reported for the Loris Zip Code, 2 more in Green Sea.

     Those numbers bring the pandemic case count for Horry to 20,635, including 1,287 in the Loris Zip Code, 170 in Green Sea.

     There were no new confirmed coronavirus associated deaths for the county on Wednesday.

     South Carolina has recorded 332,990 COVID cases during the pandemic, 5,402 deaths, those numbers up by 4,673 and 42 respectively from Tuesday.

     Statewide 2,466 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Wednesday, that number up by 13 since Monday.

Columbus records 81 new infections

     Newly confirmed COVID-19 cases continue across Columbus County, 81 on Wednesday alone, data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services shows.

     Zip Code data shows 27 of those new cases in the Tabor City area, 20 in Whiteville, 12 in Chadbourn.

     No new COVID-19 associated deaths were indicated in the DHHS dashboard data Wednesday, the county’s pandemic total at 90.

     Pandemic case/death totals for some of the county’s Zip Codes include Tabor City, 1,213/23; Whiteville, 1,307/30; Chadbourn, 499/10; Clarendon, 167/3; and Fair Bluff, 95/5.

     North Carolina reported 5,098 new COVID infections Wednesday and 107 associated deaths, bringing those pandemic totals to 641,073 and 7,745 respectively.

     Statewide 3,951 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Wednesday, that number up by 11 from Tuesday.

Updates

     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.