LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Lancaster County School District is planning to utilize a Test-To-Stay program in the district “to better ensure that healthy students can continue in-person learning.”

The program allows staff and K-12 students who have been exposed to a COVID-19 infected person to remain in class if they are asymptomatic and receive a negative test result on the fifth day after contact. Close contacts must still wear a mask at school for the full 10 days, regardless of a negative test result or being asymptomatic.

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The district tells Queen City News that they are following guidance from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on how to proceed.

According to the school district, an individual identified as a household close contact must stay home for the COVID positive person’s isolation period (at least 5 days) plus an additional 5 days. If the household close contact tests negative on day 10 and remains asymptomatic, they can return to school on day 11 and wear a mask through day 15.

The Lancaster County School District’s rapid testing site will offer extended hours of operation Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Multipurpose Building. LCSD will also accept at-home test results if accompanied by a SCDHEC Attestation Form, which can be found on the school district’s website.

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Athletes identified as close contacts may TTS in the classroom but can return to sports on day 6 with proof of a negative test on day 5 and wear a mask through day 10.

The district says that, as always, students or staff who have tested positive with a PCR or antigen test within the last 90 days and students or staff who are fully vaccinated (if 5-17 years old) or maximally vaccinated (if 18 years and older) and do not have symptoms don’t need to quarantine after a close contact.

DHEC recommends testing on day 5, and they must wear a mask for 10 days unless eating or drinking or more than six feet from anyone else when outdoors.

To read LCSD’s and DHEC’s full COVID-19 guidance in its entirety, visit our website at