- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2021

A South Carolina school district blamed “space limitations” after an elementary school student with apparent COVID-19 symptoms was held in a storage closet.

According to emails obtained by the Post and Courier Myrtle Beach, a teacher at Myrtle Beach Elementary School recently raised concerns to Principal Kristie Hamilton about the treatment of an apparently sick child. The teacher wrote that the student had COVID-19 symptoms and was sent to the nurse, but when the teacher returned to check on the student, the child was being held in a “storage closet with the door cracked.”

“[The student] may have been in there for about an hour,” the teacher wrote, the Post and Courier reported. “I’m not trying to make waves, but for some reason this doesn’t sit right with me. It’s been bothering me all night. What is our protocol if a student has COVID symptoms at school?”

The principal responded by explaining the closet was being used as an isolation area for symptomatic students, the Post and Courier reported. 

“Unfortunately, we do not have another location where the nurse can keep an eye on a student as well as assist other students who come to the nurse’s office,” Ms. Hamilton reportedly wrote.

The Horry County Schools District Office cited a section in its “Re-Opening Plan” that requires students with COVID-19 symptoms to be placed in an isolated area until their parent or guardian can arrive to pick them up.

“Due to space limitations, some storage areas/locations in the nurse’s office have been temporarily repurposed into an isolation area,” an HCS spokesperson said, a Fox News affiliate reported. “This isolation area is where symptomatic students are temporarily placed while they wait for their parents to arrive. Most of these areas also have air purifiers, to include Myrtle Beach Elementary School.”

The district’s plan states that each school must establish “a dedicated space for symptomatic individuals.” It is not clear how long the child in question remained isolated.

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