ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - It’s official. Students in both North Carolina and South Carolina will have an extended break from school due to the coronavirus outbreak.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced Sunday that all schools across the state of South Carolina will be closed starting Monday, March 16. This includes pre-k through grade 12, universities, colleges and technical colleges.
WBTV spoke to several South Carolina residents Sunday regarding the spread of Covid-19 and McMaster’s announcement.
Rock Hill resident Rose Cale said she thinks some people are making too much of the virus.
“I think it’s serious, but it’s blown out too far,” said Cale.
Chester resident Dorcas Small also questioned all the attention the virus seems to be getting.
“I know it’s a big deal, but the hype around it, I’m just not really sure,” said Small.
Many parents who talked to WBTV Sunday seemed understanding of the governor’s decision to close all schools.
“It’s a serious thing and I would hate for one of my kids to come in contact with it so if I have to stay home and teach them, guard them from this thing, then do what you gotta do,” said South Carolina parent Kevin Eason.
Cale said she didn’t agree with the move.
“I don’t think they should close schools for that. If they’re sick, they should keep them home, but I don’t think they should keep everybody home from school,” said Cale.
Other parents and guardians said they understood the governor’s decision, but felt it placed working parents in a difficult situation.
“That’s a scary thought for those who have to stay home with their kids and if they’re not working, they don’t get paid. What do they do?” questioned Small.
Kaytlyn Austin, a student at York Technical College, said she was worried about students who depend on school for lunch.
“Just think about the kids that don’t have the resources for lunches, you know. That’s there only meal,” said Austin.
Fortunately for parents, South Carolina State Superintendent Molly Spearman announced Sunday that the South Carolina Department of Education Office of Health and Nutrition has been granted a waiver from the United State Department of Agriculture that allows summer feeding options to be used during the school closure.
Spearman said the state’s transportation office is also in the process of equipping buses with Wi-Fi so people living in rural areas can have access to internet if a bus travels to their community.