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State superintendent wants 1 nurse at every South Carolina school this fall

CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) — When schools reopen, nurses will be on the front lines in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

SC State Superintendent Molly Spearman wants one nurse in every South Carolina school this fall.

Right now, 129 schools in the state have no nurse at all.

“Some schools are small. They think a part-time person can cover and maybe that worked before the pandemic, but I’m not sure will work now,” says Spearman.

 

Now school districts are working quickly to cover those positions.

CCSD’s Director of Nursing Services says it is completing its hiring for the new school year. She says the board has approved an increase of one nurse per every 600 students and an additional 2.5 full time equivalents.

Dorchester District 2 says they are fully staffed and then some.

DD2 Nurse Coordinator Amanda Santamaria said, “We also have nurses on several of our buses for some of our medically-fragile students, as well in some of our classrooms for some of our students and we have several float nurses.”

The last time ABC News 4 checked with Berkeley County School District in June, they said they did not have a full-time nurse at every school. We are waiting to hear if that has now been updated.

Spearman revealed that school nurses may one day soon have an additional responsibility.

“We are working with DHEC to see if they get to a place where nurses would actually be able to give the COVID test and have the equipment and all they need to be able to do the test,” says Spearman.

DD2's Santamaria is aware of the possible coronavirus testing on site at schools. She says she’s waiting to see if and how it can logistically be done.

And CCSD's head nurse told us she's been in close contact with one of the major test distributors. She says CCSD is hoping that this will still be a possibility, but that depends on kit and lab availability.

BCSD has not responded to our request about coronavirus testing possibilities.

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