Schools and COVID-19: How will teachers stay safe during the pandemic?

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HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN)— Students’ health, safety, and well-being are always the main concern when it comes to school. However, another question remains: how are teachers being cared for during the pandemic?

“Teachers are putting their lives at risk and AEA (Alabama Education Association) is there for the educators so we are doing what we can do to help keep our educators safe,” says Alabama Education Association UniServ Director Rhonda Hicks.

Hicks acts as a liaison between educators and state representatives. According to her, all educational staff will be in a high-risk situation because social distancing will not always be possible. Houston County Facility Maintenance Supervisor Dominick Curran told WDHN teacher safety plans are in place.

“We will be supplying our teachers with masks, we’re going to supply them with face shields,” Curran said. “All the teachers are going to receive a KN95 Mask, we are going to supply face shields for the teachers that would rather wear face shields. Some of the teachers have requested the fact that some of the students need to be able to see their mouths when they are announcing any words, and these will help facilitate that. These masks or they can wear both, whatever they feel comfortable at.”

In addition, Curran said custodians are being trained on proper sanitizing procedures with ozonating cleaning machines and optimist spray backpacks. There are over 1,000 masks in stock for teachers with more being ordered daily. Curran said the situation is changing daily and officials are trying to adjust appropriately.

“I think everybody is doing everything they know how to do at this point, nobody really knows what is enough, and I think that is the real question,” Hicks said. “Until we know more about this virus, and until there is a vaccine, we truly don’t, we don’t know.”

Learning to be flexible is a lesson all educational staff members are learning in order to stay healthy during this time.

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