HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida (CW44 News at 10 a.m.) – “We are a different place as a community than we were when we traveled on December 17thth“said Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Addison Davis. While students and staff return from winter break, Hillsborough County School District is stepping up its efforts to stop the spread of the virus in its classrooms amid the latest wave of Covid-19.
“Let me be aware that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is asked to stay home,” said Superintendent Davis. The county experienced an average positivity rate of 3-4% seven days when students traveled for winter vacation, while the county on Monday faced an average positivity rate of 14% seven days in the case of coronavirus.
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“And it will ultimately affect our schools, every single day in our classrooms,” Davis said. “One thing we know we will continue to do is encourage wearing masks when you are indoors. We wash our hands and make sure we continue to clean all the surfaces we interact with.” On Sunday, the district began running ventilation and airflow systems before the students returned home. Superintendent Davis says it is important that certain remedial strategies are in place.
According to the CDC, if a student tests positive for coronavirus, he or she can sit out for 5 days before returning to the classroom.
“With House Bill 1B, we can not implement the recommendation of the CDC Guidelines. So the individual students who are positive about Covid-19 will have to sit out and be quarantined for ten days,” he said. “House Bill 1B, it provides really are the rights of the families. As for teachers, we want to implement the CDC guidelines because we can do it with adults. “
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If a teacher or employee tests positive for the virus, they will be given the opportunity to either sit out for ten days or five days with the requirement to wear a mask for five days upon return. Except in this case, masks are not mandatory, but they are encouraged.
“Here we are in year two and we are learning that we need to adapt and live with this because we can not have children out of school for years,” said Chair Nadia Combs, Hillsborough County School Board. The district says online learning resources are still available through Canvas, but the district’s hands are tied when it comes to funding to enable them to become fully virtual.
“So even though it would have been nice to take four or five days after the holidays to become virtual as a school district, which we now know we are capable of doing, we just do not have the luxury associated with teaching time to to have time for the task, “said Davis.” As you know, we are not in a financial situation to take that risk, so we are not able to do it. And it’s all about recommendations and new statue of requirements outlined through Tallahassee. “If your student does not have access to a computer from home, you are encouraged to contact the district.
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Superintendent Addison Davis says the district will continue to work with TGH and local providers for quick staff assessments – for immediate response to get them back in the classrooms as soon as possible. Reporting in Hillsborough County.