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Rock Hill Schools approves added sick time for COVID-19 diagnoses

The policy provides staff members ten additional days of sick leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantining.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — A policy within the Rock Hill School District will provide staff members an additional ten days of paid, sick leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19.

The policy, was on the agenda for the Board of Trustees meeting Monday night, and was introduced after a similar measure, the Families First Coronavirus Act, expired on June 30, 2021. The new policy passed during Monday's meeting and is retroactive from July 1.

In a letter from September 9, the chief of human resources, Dr. Tanya Campbell, and the chief of business services, Terri Smith, wrote to the interim superintendent, Dr. John Jones, encouraging the adoption of the policy. 

"In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one way to support our staff is to provide paid COVID sick time under certain conditions," they wrote. "We believe that we all share an obligation for the safety of our stakeholders and strongly recommend that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccination and adhere to CDC recommended mitigation measures (i.e., mask usage, frequent hand washing, social distancing, etc.)."

RELATED: Union County schools halts contact tracing efforts by school staff

A staff member is entitled to the sick days if they were quarantining following a positive test, or had come in close contact with someone who has tested positive. 

The cost of the added paid time off would be covered by the district.

The policy has no proposed end date and allows supervisors and Human Resources to determine if an employee is eligible for any remote work.

RELATED: Nearly 30% of Rock Hill students have been quarantined this school year

The district has 704 students, or about 4% of their student body, who have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 3, according to their dashboard. There have been 75 positive cases, or about 3% of employees, among staffers. 

Among students, 4,904 of them are or have been quarantined. That is about 30% of the student population. Among staff, 53 have been quarantined, which makes up 2% of staffers.

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