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Colleton County School District creates vaccine incentive program for students and staff

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:08 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 11:44 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - For two weeks students in the Colleton County School District will learn virtually. To ensure a safe return, district leaders are creating a vaccine incentive program.

The district made an announcement for a temporary switch to online learning following an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and quarantined students and staff.

On Monday, the Colleton County school board met to get an update on the number of COVID-19 cases and safety measures.

From August 16 to the 30th, 130 students have tested positive, and more than 1,000 students have had to quarantine. Additionally, 20 staff members have tested positive and 31 have had to quarantine.

“The infection rate has actually affected our bus drivers at such an enormous rate until we had to cancel a few routes. And those routes we had to cancel affected about 58% of our students transportation, so it was nearly impossible for us to have school,” school board member William Bowman Jr. said.

While giving an update about the first day of virtual classes, district officials said students with access to WIFI can use district-issued laptops to have live sessions with teachers. For the time being, those without internet access are being given instructional packets instead.

As they adjust to the temporary change, Superintendent Dr. Vallerie Cave said she hopes a vaccine incentive program will keep students and staff in school.

“CDC recommends that there are two ways to get students back in school and that is to wear a mask and get the vaccine. So both of those things I strongly encourage and that’s why we’re doing it,” Cave said.

People who wish to participate in the program will have to have all required vaccine doses prior to October 15, 2021. They will also have to submit a form to the district and provide some type of proof of vaccination.

Full time employees will receive $300 for getting the vaccine, and part-time employees will get $150.

Eligible students who want to participate in the program must also receive all doses of the vaccine prior to Oct 15 and must submit a signed parental consent form to the district. Students will receive $20 gift cards.

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