Video Message from Price and Carter

Important Message from GCSD and Tidelands Health
Posted on 08/25/2021
Important video message from GCSD Superintendent Keith Price and Tidelands Health Pediatric Medical Director Dr. Lucretia Carter
Transcript follows:
[Keith Price, GCSD Superintendent]
Hello GCSD families.
As I am sure most of you are aware, the COVID Delta variant is impacting our school learning and operating procedures significantly at this time. The Delta variant is impacting our students much more than the original variant we struggled with last year. We have more positives among our students already.
As our nurses and administrators have conducted their close contact tracing protocols, we have had to move a large number of students into quarantine based on the guidance from DHEC. Students who have been identified as a close contact who have been vaccinated do not have to quarantine as long as they are not showing symptoms. Students who have not been vaccinated must go into quarantine.
On Monday afternoon, DHEC updated their guidance for close contact tracing. Moving forward, a student identified as a close contact will not have to be quarantined if both the positive student and the close contact student were wearing masks throughout their encounter.
State law prohibits us from mandating masks at this time but we continue to strongly recommend and strongly encourage all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks while inside school buildings. With the updated guidance from DHEC, wearing masks, much like vaccinations, will not only help keep more students safe, it will also help keep more students in school and out of quarantine.
I am joined today by one of our medical panel advisory partners, Dr. Lucretia Carter from Tidelands Health. Thank you Dr. Carter for your continued partnership and for joining me for the video. I appreciate you being here and welcome any message you would like to share with our GCSD family.
[Dr. Lucretia Carter, Tidelands Health Pediatric Medical Director]
Thank you for having me.
I would like to announce that I am fully excited that as of August 23 we have full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine for ages 16 and above. We also still encourage vaccinating your children who are 12 years of age and older to get the vaccine as well, so that we can protect ours kids as well as our adults as best as we can against COVID 19.
I also want to reiterate that the Delta variant of COVID is much more aggressive than our previous variants. It is spread more easily, and it is causing more significant illness in our younger kids as well as adults. Still, as in previous years, our best defense is washing our hands and covering our mouths with our face mask when we are in close contact with other people. We should still social distance at least six feet when we can or three feet if we don’t have any alternative as well as if we are able, vaccinate our children as well as adults that are able to receive the vaccine. Those are our best defenses against getting COVID 19 as well as protecting others from the infection.
[Keith Price, GCSD Superintendent]
In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone for tuning in to the video announcement. While the pandemic has given us quite the challenge to begin our school year, I remain hopeful that we will get through this together one step and one day at a time. Thank you!
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