Heating & Air Conditioning

AC Repair in Hilton Head Island, SC

Your Reliable HVAC Contractor in Hilton Head Island

Your Reliable HVAC Contractor in Hilton Head Island, SC

If you’re like most residents living in the Lowcountry, your home is your happy place. It’s where you come to unwind, rest, and regroup for another day at work. But when your HVAC system fails, your peaceful property can turn into an uncomfortable, even unsafe environment. You need to get it fixed, and you need it fixed quickly.

As the most trusted HVAC company in Hilton Head Island, Burke HVAC Services, Inc. has the tools, experience, and technicians to help, whether you need a simple maintenance check or emergency HVAC repair. We truly care about your comfort and will do everything in our power to restore your home to the happy place that you love.

Our Service Areas

Our Service
Why Choose Burke HVAC Services, Inc.

Why Choose Burke HVAC Services, Inc?

When we opened Burke HVAC Services, Inc. many years ago, we did so with one goal in mind: To exceed our customer’s expectations by ensuring that each of our clients received individualized service.

Since that time, we have grown and expanded into one of Hilton Head Island’s largest HVAC companies, but we still hold true to that goal. Despite our growth, we are proud to say that we continue to offer a boutique, personalized experience for all of our clients.

When you call our office, you will speak to a trained, knowledgeable customer service professional. When you make an appointment for an estimate, we will come to your residence rather than asking you to come to ours. When you need emergency service, you can rest easy knowing an HVAC tech is their way, no matter what time of day.

Why Choose Burke HVAC Services, Inc.

Hilton Head Island’s Most Trusted HVAC Business

At Burke HVAC Services, Inc., our customers keep coming back because we believe in hard work, timely service, and fair pricing. Honesty is the backbone of our business, and that will not be changing anytime soon.

Here are just a few more reasons why the Lowcountry leans on Burke HVAC Services, Inc. for their heating and cooling maintenance and repair:

Professional Staff

Professional Staff

Each of our HVAC experts is an EPA Certified Factory Trained Technician. When one of our HVAC techs comes to your home or business, you can rest assured that you will be working with the best of the best.

support

Friendly Customer Service

We know how important that helpful, personable customer service is for our customers. Unlike some heating & air companies, our customer service professionals are local, efficient, and ready to help with all your needs and questions.

Services

24/7 Services

Heating & cooling units tend to break down in the most inopportune times. It doesn’t matter if your HVAC system stops working at 2AM on a Saturday night. Our team is ready to work at the most inconvenient times so you can get back to enjoying your home in comfort.

Licensed & Insured

Licensed & Insured

Burke HVAC Services, Inc. is fully licensed and insured to protect your investment and maintain your peace of mind. If you are not 100% satisfied with our work, we will do everything possible to correct any mistake and make the situation right.

On-Site Estimates and Consultations

On-Site Estimates and Consultations

We won’t ever ask you to come to our offices for an estimate or consultation. Instead, we come to your home or business, so you don’t have to change your daily routine. We cater to your schedule, not the other way around. Call us today at (843) 568-7336 to learn more about our on-site estimates or to schedule a consultation.

Financing Available

Financing Available

To make life a little easier, we offer flexible financing to all of our customers. If you need to pay your bill one payment at a time, we are here to make your HVAC experience as convenient as possible.

When you and your family need the highest level of indoor comfort in South Carolina, Burke HVAC Services, Inc. is ready to get to work – 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Our unbeatable HVAC and air quality services include:

AC Repair in Hilton Head Island, SC

Having your AC go out during the hottest days of summer is no fun, but don’t sweat it; Burke HVAC Services is here to keep you cool!

We know that your home’s AC system needs to be fully operational to keep your family comfortable when summertime rolls around. Our skilled AC repair techs in Hilton Head Island are ready to help with any AC issue you are having, whether it be a quick fix or full system replacement.

We provide trustworthy AC maintenance services when you need them the most, so you can focus on more important things like your family or business. With the most comprehensive list of AC services in Hilton Head Island, we can get your air conditioning pump up to snuff so you can cool down no matter how hot it gets outside.

A few of our most common AC repair services in Hilton Head Island include:

  • Filter replacement
  • Broken fan replacement
  • Duct and airflow optimization
  • Motor replacement
  • Thermostat replacement
  • Fan belt replacement
  • Coil replacement and maintenance

Burke HVAC Services, Inc. also offers preventative maintenance and tune-up options for homeowners that would like year-round confidence in their air conditioning system. It doesn’t matter if you have a central heating system for your home or a wall-mounted AC unit for your office – we are just a phone call away from keeping summer heat at bay.

AC Repair in Hilton Head Island
AC Installation in Hilton Head Island

AC Installation in Hilton Head Island, SC

When properly maintained, a good air conditioning system can last for many years. However, if no amount of repairs or maintenance will fix your AC system, it’s probably time to send your old unit to the scrap yard. Before you call us for a replacement system, let us provide you with a thorough exam to make sure it is needed. If we discover that a replacement AC system is required, our skilled technicians would be happy to travel to your to complete the job.

At Burke HVAC Services, Inc., we understand how important it is for you and your family to stay cool during the hot summer months in South Carolina. That is why we are proud to install the highest-rated cooling systems available. When we come to your home or business to install an AC unit, we will take all the time needed to walk you through the process and answer any questions you have.

Any time we install a new air conditioner for a client, we strive to let them know what may be wrong with their original system. We’ll discuss what unit might be best for your home, budget, and cooling needs. Once we have a good understanding for what you need, we will get to work right away to minimize your time without air conditioning.

Our goal is to do the best job possible the first time out, with minimal interference in your life. That way, you can continue enjoying summertime while we work hard to give you a fast, effective AC solution.

Signs You Need AC Replacement in Hilton Head Island, SC

Did you know that a broken heat pump or air conditioner can lead to higher utility bills? Updated cooling systems, like the replacement systems installed by Burke HVAC Services, are more reliable and can help lower your utility costs over time.

But how do you know if your air conditioning system is on its last legs? Here are a few telltale signs that your AC unit might need to be replaced:

Signs You Need AC Replacement in Hilton Head Island
Warm Air Blowing from AC Unit

Warm Air Blowing from AC Unit

This is a sign that you might need a complicated repair or a replacement AC unit. Before you call Burke HVAC Services, Inc. for an estimate, you should check your air filter first. If it’s too dirty to allow airflow, clean or change the filter and check to see if cool air is flowing now.

Outdated AC Unit

Outdated AC Unit

AC systems typically last between 12 and 15 years. If your AC system has more than 15 years of regular use, it might be time for an AC replacement in Hilton Head Island.

Rise in Utility Bill

Rise in Utility Bill

AC units become less efficient over time. Old AC systems use more electricity, which will raise your energy bill. Unfortunately, this situation will only get worse until you replace the system with a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Cost to Repair vs. Replace

Cost to Repair vs. Replace

If you find that it will cost you half or more of a new unit’s price to fix your old one, it might be time to consider a replacement AC system. Rather than spending money to fix a dying AC unit, you can purchase a new one that is more energy efficient, which will save you money over the long run.

If you are in need of a replacement cooling system for your home in Hilton Head Island, Burke HVAC Services, Inc., is here to help.

Give us a call Today, & and one of our skilled AC technicians will explain the best AC replacement options for your home and budget.

AC Installation in Hilton Head Island

Heating Repair in Hilton Head Island, SC

Few things are worse than having your heater go out in the middle of winter. Fixing your heater is of the utmost importance when it’s freezing outside, and Burke HVAC Services, Inc. has the tools and technicians to help. With our 24/7 emergency heating repair services, you won’t have to worry about being left out in the cold. Our talented HVAC contractors in Hilton Head Island are only a call away, whether you need a minor fix or a replacement heater.

Here are just a few common issues that Burke HVAC Services, Inc. heating technicians can help solve for you:

  • Overheating of your system
  • Faulty or broken heat exchangers
  • Damaged blower or motor
  • Dirty burners
  • Busted limit switches
  • Misconfigured blower belts

Before you start looking at replacement heaters, call Burke HVAC Services, Inc. first so that we can inspect your heating unit. Your issues might be resolved with a quick fix. If we discover that you need a replacement unit, our heating experts will offer guidance on choosing the best unit for your unique situation.

Signs You Need Heater Replacement in Hilton Head Island, SC

Signs You Need Heater Replacement in Hilton Head Island

If you notice any of the following signs from your furnace, contact Burke HVAC Services, Inc. for an inspection. Our fully-trained furnace repair technicians will detail what issues your furnace is experiencing and offer solutions tailored to your home and budget.

Pilot Light is Out

If your furnace runs on gas and its pilot light will not come on, it is important to address the issues as soon as possible.

Warming Your Home Takes a Long Time

There are many reasons why your furnace isn’t heating your home quickly. From duct cleaning to heating element replacement, our furnace repair technicians in Hilton Head Island are here to help.

Broken Thermostat

If your heater isn’t warming your home to the temperature you desire, your thermostat might be broken.

No Airflow

Little to no airflow throughout your home is usually a sign that your ducts or air vents are blocked. Move any furniture away from air vents. If that does not solve your problem, you should seek help from a professional heating repair company like Burke HVAC Services, Inc.

Noisy Heater

While all heaters emanate noise, you should be concerned if you can hear loud noises coming from a different room or your basement. Be cognizant of how much noise your furnace is making. If it seems like a lot, it’s time for a thorough furnace inspection in Hilton Head Island.

Our Promise

“Burke HVAC Services, Inc. is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality HVAC services in Hilton Head Island. Our goal is to exceed your expectations consistently, from the moment you speak to our representatives to the time our HVAC contractor in Hilton Head Island leaves your home. “Remember that any company can make an honest mistake, but it is what they do about it that makes a difference. We will work to make things right by you; that is our promise.”

Larry H. Burke Jr. President

Our Promise

Latest News in Hilton Head Island

New COVID-19 testing site on Hilton Head Island

HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WTGS) — To get ahead of the heavy demand, cars lined up at a new COVID-19 testing site on Tuesday, due to a partnership with the town of Hilton Head Island and a in-home care medical service business in Bluffton.BrightStar Care, a medical staffing business that provides care for families in the comfort of their homes, saw a need ...

HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WTGS) — To get ahead of the heavy demand, cars lined up at a new COVID-19 testing site on Tuesday, due to a partnership with the town of Hilton Head Island and a in-home care medical service business in Bluffton.

BrightStar Care, a medical staffing business that provides care for families in the comfort of their homes, saw a need in the community. The business provided the COVID-19 test and the town of Hilton Head provided the location.

“We decided to go ahead and partner with them and open a site here. As you know the demand is out there,” said Tom Dunn, Town of Hilton Head Emergency Manager.

The drive-thru nasal swab tests located at Chaplin Community Park, 11 Castnet Drive, allow people to stay in their car throughout the whole process.

Dunn said hopefully the new testing site will reduce some of the demand many testing sites are seeing in our area.

“Improves the demand and we hope that this will alleviate some of the demand and we won’t have the situations like we had yesterday. It’ll spread out that demand and it’ll ease out the pressure of the system that we have here,” said Dunn.

Jill Larson, BrightStar Care Admin said this partnership is important because it provides more opportunities for people to get tested.

“There’s not much testing places in this area. Even a personal need. My husband and kids couldn’t find a testing location, or it took hours to get one. So, I had the opportunity to partner with the pharmacy and I reached out to the town and wanted to do something in the community, and we thought this would be a great thing to give back,” said Larson.

Although it is not required, event organizers recommend that people pre-register for the test.

The testing site is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Those who wish to get tested should be in line by 2 p.m.

This is not a rapid testing location. Test results take 48 to 72 hours.

“With the current rise in COVID-19 cases and the demand for testing, we’re asking everyone seeking a test to be patient. There may be long lines and long wait times as the providers administer tests,” said Dunn.

COVID-19 testing is also available on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Fire Station 4, located at 400 Squire Pope Road.

Everything we know about Beaufort Co.’s omicron wave as infections surge to new record

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Beaufort County residents now share a collective sense of whiplash after a week of record-shattering COVID-19 case trends, long testing lines and dreary news about the ultra contagious omicron variant.

To make matters worse, the demoralizing trajectory of the Lowcountry’s coronavirus outbreak was capped off Friday with another new case record: Beaufort County recorded 618 newly confirmed infections, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The previous single-day high was logged roughly a week ago.

The county on Friday also set a new record for its seven-day average of confirmed cases — 364 infections per day.

DHEC does not publicly break down county-level case data by vaccination status.

South Carolina, meanwhile, broke its statewide case record Friday, reporting more than 19,400 confirmed and probable infections.

As this unnerving week wraps up, here’s everything we know about the region’s wave of illness:

For additional context on the Lowcountry’s coronavirus surge, it’s helpful to monitor scientific studies and national news about omicron.

Here’s what The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette’s COVID-19 reporter has recently been reading:

Here are the latest Beaufort County coronavirus numbers from DHEC:

New cases reported Friday: 618 confirmed, 74 probable

New cases reported Thursday: 255 confirmed, 87 probable

New cases reported Wednesday: 185 confirmed, 16 probable

New deaths reported from Wednesday to Friday: 1 confirmed, 2 probable

Seven-day average of new cases: 364 confirmed infections per day

Two-week case rate: 2,592 cases per 100,000 people

Vaccination rate: 56.4% of residents have been fully vaccinated

Bluffton ZIP code, 29910: 1,093

Hilton Head Island ZIP code, 29926: 430

Hilton Head Island ZIP code, 29928: 266

Okatie ZIP code, 29909: 362

Beaufort ZIP code, 29902: 531

West of Beaufort ZIP code, 29906: 768

St. Helena Island ZIP code, 29920: 275

Jasper County logged 57 confirmed cases and 10 probable infections Friday. No new COVID-19 deaths were announced.

Data in this story are current as of Friday afternoon.

This story was originally published January 14, 2022 3:18 PM.

Bluffton High hires new football coach from championship program in Georgia

Bluffton found its new football coach from a state championship program in the state of Georgia.Collins Hill assistant coach Hayden Gregory was introduced as the school’s new coach on Friday. Gregory replaces John Houpt, who stepped down in November.Gregory has spent the last five seasons as offensive line coach for his father Lenny Gregory at Collins Hill. The Eagles went 15-0 this year and won the Georgia Class 7A championship over Milton.“The success that we had at Collins Hill did not happen by accident,&...

Bluffton found its new football coach from a state championship program in the state of Georgia.

Collins Hill assistant coach Hayden Gregory was introduced as the school’s new coach on Friday. Gregory replaces John Houpt, who stepped down in November.

Gregory has spent the last five seasons as offensive line coach for his father Lenny Gregory at Collins Hill. The Eagles went 15-0 this year and won the Georgia Class 7A championship over Milton.

“The success that we had at Collins Hill did not happen by accident,” Gregory said.. “I believe I can take the same blueprint to build Bluffton to its highest possible potential.”

Collins Hill featured Travis Hunter, one of the top players in the country, who signed with Jackson State.

Hayden Gregory was a standout at Grayson High School and played college football at Mercer before joining his father’s staff at Collins Hill. At Grayson, he played for Mickey Conn, who built the program into a powerhouse before leaving for Clemson where he will be the team’s co-defensive coordinator this year.

Gregory said his experience working and playing for top programs will help with his first head coaching job.

“My experiences have given me invaluable lessons in how to run a successful program,” Gregory. “I look forward to taking Bluffton football to the next level.”

The Bobcats went 2-8 this season and lost in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs to North Augusta. The Bobcats had a good run under Ken Cribb from 2010-16 where they reaced the state championship game in 2011. The Bobcats have a strong group coming back with offenive players Jaylin Linder and Camauri Simmons and defensive standouts Jeremiah Curry and JaQuinn Williams.

“We searched for someone who cares about the well-being of student-athletes and will grow them in all facets, a high-energy individual that we felt would immediately gain player buy-in, has a proven record of success on and off the field, tremendous history of helping to get his players to the next level and an individual who understands the impact the team can have in the school and our community,” Bluffton athletic director Todd Stewart said. “We found our clear next head football coach in coach Gregory.”

School — Former Coach — New Coach

AC Flora — Dustin Curtis— TBA

Airport — Kirk Burnett — TBA

Batesburg-Leesville — Gary Adams — Gene Cathcart

Bluffton — John Houpt— Hayden Gregory

Boiling Springs — Rick Tate — Matt Reel

Dorman — Dave Guttshall — Dustin Curtis

Hilton Head Prep — Dave Adams — TBA

Lewisville — Will Mitchell — Leon Boulware

Newberry — Phil Strickland — TBA

North Augusta — Jim Bob Bryant — TBA

North Myrtle Beach — Matt Reel — TBA

Oceanside Collegiate — Joe Call — TBA

Stall — Joe Bessinger — TBA

Travelers Rest — Ray Gould — TBA

Will Beaufort Co. municipalities require masks due to omicron surge? What we know

The political appetite for public mask mandates seems to be long gone in Beaufort County, even though COVID-19 cases are surging to new heights.Communitywide face-covering rules have become increasingly contentious during the nation’s pandemic response, and even with the omicron variant now sweeping across the Lowcountry, it appears unlikely that local governments will enact new mask mandates for indoor settings such as restaurants and grocery stores.Beaufort County, as of Tuesday, was averaging ...

The political appetite for public mask mandates seems to be long gone in Beaufort County, even though COVID-19 cases are surging to new heights.

Communitywide face-covering rules have become increasingly contentious during the nation’s pandemic response, and even with the omicron variant now sweeping across the Lowcountry, it appears unlikely that local governments will enact new mask mandates for indoor settings such as restaurants and grocery stores.

Beaufort County, as of Tuesday, was averaging 285 confirmed COVID-19 cases per day, which is a new record. Omicron, a super contagious variant that was discovered in southern Africa late last year, is sparking the latest wave of infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated county residents wear masks in public indoor spaces, citing the high level of COVID-19 spread. (The CDC has collected reams of data on the benefits of mask use during the pandemic.)

But there are still no plans to roll out new face-covering rules in Beaufort County, according to interviews with elected officials.

Why?

Here’s what we know.

County Council Chair Joe Passiment on Tuesday said there currently are no plans to enact a new mask mandate in unincorporated Beaufort County.

“We’re very split on the County Council regarding masks,” Passiment said. “To do an emergency ordinance, we need at least two-thirds majority, or the approval of at least eight members.”

He added that a countywide mandate is difficult to enforce.

The county has reported more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases since Jan. 1, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Mayor John McCann said the town has no plans to create a new mask mandate.

“At this point, I believe it’s a personal responsibility” to wear a face covering, McCann said in a Monday interview.

McCann’s comments echoed what he had previously told The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette last summer, when he enacted a state of emergency due to the delta variant surge.

The state of emergency is still in effect, according to Town Clerk Krista Wiedmeyer. It allows the Town Council to meet virtually and allows Town Manager Marc Orlando to require that residents wear masks in Town Hall, among other town-owned buildings.

Masks were an emotional flashpoint on Hilton Head in 2021.

Anti-mask activists blasted the Town Council with a wave of vitriol and COVID-19 misinformation at an August meeting, forcing McCann to end it early. Elected officials left the chambers flanked by deputies from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

The newspapers in fall 2020 also reported on a growing — but still small — movement of local mask mandate opponents who had commandeered public comment and spammed the livestreams of local government meetings.

“I’ve had more contacts through email on this issue than any issue before,” Hilton Head Ward 5 representative Tom Lennox said at the time.

The Monmouth University Polling Institute in early December found that 55% of Americans supported “instituting or reinstituting” mask and social distancing guidelines in their states. That was down from 63% in September.

Since Jan. 1, the island’s 29926 ZIP code has recorded 282 new coronavirus cases, DHEC data show. There have been 186 infections, meanwhile, reported in the south-end 29928 ZIP code.

Bluffton has no plans to enact any new mask mandates, spokeswoman Debbie Szapanka said Tuesday.

But, Szapanka said, the town has a policy that requires residents to wear face coverings in Town Council chambers during public meetings. The meetings also must be held at no more than 50% capacity, she said.

Town Manager Stephen Steese said he made the decision to require masks at town meetings as COVID-19 cases began to spike at the beginning of this month.

Mayor Lisa Sulka did not immediately respond to a phone message Tuesday.

Bluffton’s ZIP code of 29910 has logged 727 infections since Jan. 1. That’s the highest case count in Beaufort County so far this year.

Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray on Monday said there are no plans to enact new mask requirements in the city.

While omicron is spreading, the good news, Murray said, is “it doesn’t seem like it’s turning into inpatient hospitalizations.”

Even though the county recently logged a record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases, with 543 infections confirmed on Saturday, inpatient counts at local hospitals have not spiked to the levels last seen during the 2021 delta variant surge.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital, as of Monday, was treating 12 coronavirus inpatients, with one of those people in the intensive care unit, according to spokeswoman Dee Robinson. (At one point in mid-September, during the delta surge, the hospital had 60 coronavirus inpatients.)

In interviews last week, local health care leaders said that anecdotally, omicron seems to produce milder disease than delta.

“From an outpatient perspective, this is the worst it’s been,” said hospital CEO Russell Baxley in a recent interview. “From an inpatient perspective, right now we’re doing OK.”

Murray also noted that the omicron peak in South Africa has passed without an overwhelming spike in hospital admissions.

(Some health experts, though, fear that omicron will still overwhelm U.S. hospitals with a deluge of inpatients, simply because of the sheer number of cases that it generates. The nation on Tuesday set a new record high for the number of COVID-19 inpatients in the country, with 145,982 such cases. Some medical centers, including in Delaware, have activated crisis standards of care, which means that health care systems can no longer provide normal, standard levels of care to patients due to a catastrophic public health event.)

Murray added that Beaufort continues to encourage residents to get vaccinated.

There have been 368 new COVID-19 cases reported in Beaufort’s 29902 ZIP code since Jan. 1, according to DHEC.

Port Royal Mayor Joe DeVito in a Monday interview said the town currently does not plan to enact a new mask mandate.

DeVito said residents are now better educated about masks than they were in 2020, when the town first passed a mask mandate, because there is more information available about face coverings.

“People understand the use of masks,” DeVito said.

The town, though, will revisit the mandate issue if there is a need, he added.

“We’re obviously watching,” he said.

Port Royal’s 29935 ZIP code has recorded 85 infections since Jan. 1, DHEC data show.

Yemassee Mayor Colin Moore did not immediately respond to a phone message Tuesday. There was no agenda item about mask mandates on the Town Council’s Tuesday meeting agenda.

The agenda says that because of the “exponential amount of COVID-19 cases and community transmission,” the council chambers will be restricted to 10 people.

The Beaufort County side of Yemassee’s 29945 ZIP code has seen 27 new coronavirus cases since Jan. 1, according to DHEC.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order in May 2021 that blocked local governments from using his COVID-19 state of emergency to support public mask mandates.

But McMaster’s executive order was issued under his state of emergency, which expired in June to little fanfare.

That means the executive order is no longer in effect.

McMaster, an outspoken critic of mask mandates, recently told reporters “there’s no need” to declare a new COVID-19 state of emergency.

Brian Symmes, a spokesman for McMaster, did not respond to a phone message Monday.

“Under home rule, municipal councils have the authority to enact mask mandates, if they choose to do that. That authority is still in place,” said Scott Slatton, director of advocacy and communications for the Municipal Association of South Carolina, in a Monday interview.

Data in this story are current as of Tuesday afternoon.

How many COVID cases, quarantines did Beaufort Co. schools log in first week back?

Amid a growing omicron surge, Beaufort County School District saw a jump in COVID cases and quarantines as students and staff returned from winter break, logging more than 200 infections and 500 quarantines across the district between Jan. 3-7.Three schools — Bluffton High School, May River High School and Whale Branch Early College High School — logged more than 20 student COVID cases last week.Beaufort High, H.E. McCracken Middle, M.C. Riley Elementary and Bluffton High each reported more than 35 students quaranti...

Amid a growing omicron surge, Beaufort County School District saw a jump in COVID cases and quarantines as students and staff returned from winter break, logging more than 200 infections and 500 quarantines across the district between Jan. 3-7.

Three schools — Bluffton High School, May River High School and Whale Branch Early College High School — logged more than 20 student COVID cases last week.

Beaufort High, H.E. McCracken Middle, M.C. Riley Elementary and Bluffton High each reported more than 35 students quarantining last week.

That’s a sharp jump from pre-break numbers, when Superintendent Frank Rodriguez reported 16 infections and 59 quarantines for the whole district between Dec. 5-11.

This dramatic increase is in line with the rest of the county, which broke its single-day COVID-19 case record over the weekend even as residents reported delays and difficulties in getting tested for COVID.

However, it seems like the spread in schools might be less severe than the county at large — current quarantine levels are nowhere near what they were in September, when the district reported nearly 3,000 people quarantining in one week.

The new school data comes from a Wednesday report by South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. DHEC doesn’t report the number of cases or quarantines at each school if it’s between one and four, instead leaving it as an asterisk in the report. Because of that, it’s difficult to calculate the total number of cases and quarantines in the district.

In total, from Jan. 3-7 the district logged:

Since the beginning of the school year, the district has reported nearly 2,000 COVID infections and more than 8,000 quarantines.

This semester, Beaufort County School District is also operating under new requirements from DHEC, namely shortened quarantine periods and more stringent mask requirements.

If students or staff test positive for COVID-19, they’ll be required to quarantine for only five days instead of 10. After the five-day quarantine, they can return to school as long as they wear a mask indoors for the next five days and “provide a parent note confirming that symptoms have improved and there has been no fever in the past 24 hours without using fever-reducing medication,” per a district email.

If students or staff refuse to wear a mask indoors during days six through 10, they cannot return to campus. Students who are quarantining will get live online instruction from teachers who are also teaching in-person classes.

Quarantine policies for close contacts to someone with COVID depend on vaccination status. People who aren’t showing symptoms and have been fully vaccinated and/or who have tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days and are no longer contagious do not have to quarantine. But they must wear a mask for 10 days after exposure unless they’re eating or drinking while social distancing. DHEC is recommending getting a COVID test on day five after an exposure.

Unvaccinated individuals have to quarantine for five days but can return to school if they don’t show symptoms and get a negative antigen or PCR test on or after the fourth day. They have to wear masks for days six through 10 after exposure.

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About Burke Services, Inc

110 W Ashley Ave P.O. Box 879 Folly Beach, SC 29439

T: (843) 568-7336
E: info@burkeservicesinc.com