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Rockingham County school superintendent discusses health plan for reopening

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 10:46 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Rockingham County Public Schools, like many schools welcoming some students back this fall, have a thorough Reopening Health Plan in place for the safety of students and staff.

Superintendent Dr. Oskar Scheikl told WHSV this plan was created using the most up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Virginia Department of Health, and the Virginia Department of Education.

In Part 1 of the Reopening Health Plan, families are reminded of ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protocols the school will follow to keep areas safe and disinfected.

Buildings will be disinfected daily, with frequently touched areas, like restrooms and stairwells, being sanitized more frequently.

“This does not involve additional custodians, you just change how you operate a little bit,” Scheikl said. “For example, the high touch areas, if they’re cleaned a couple of times a day, some of that can be done by the teachers and just wipe down those spaces.”

According to the Reopening Health Plan, HVAC systems will be inspected and balanced to verify the amount of fresh air circulating through the building is at the maximum amount based on the system design.

After books are handled by a student, they should be quarantined for 4 days before checking in, re-shelving, or checking out to another student. Each classroom and library should have return stations labeled for return by date so that books can be placed in there for 4 days quarantine.

Parts 2 and 3 include managing staff and student health.

Staff and families are expected to assess their health daily and not come to school if any COVID-19 symptoms or a temperature of 100.4 are present.

Employees or students who have been exposed to a person who has been diagnosed or tested positive to COVID-19 may not report to work until 14 days after the last date of exposure.

Scheikl said getting all students back to in-person instruction will be a community effort.

“If a community [follows guidelines] and the disease spread will be under control, then we can bring more and more kids back into the building. That’s really what we want, Scheikl said. “A lot of the criticism is we’re not bringing the kids back into the buildings. Trust me, there’s nothing our teachers would love to do more.”

For more information on the RCPS Reopening Health Plan, click here.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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