November 17, 2020 -- Personal protective equipment packs this Columbus City Schools warehouse.
“We did a bid and ordered one-million of the disposable adult size masks and a half-million double child size masks. We also ordered 30,000 cloth face masks,” said Annette Morud, Senior Executive Director, Business and Operations.
With Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announcing that COVID-19 cases are increasing across the state, Columbus City Schools students are tentatively scheduled to begin in-person blended learning in January 2021. Career Technical Education students began in-person learning on November 2. CTE students are in the classroom learning two days a week, while the other three days are spent learning remotely from home.
“I will say we are very ready. We have ordered a lot of PPE,” said Morud.
That PPE includes more than 2,000,000 face masks (a combination of adult and children sizes), 66,000 gowns, 48,000 face shields, over 100,0000 disposable gloves, and a lasting supply of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sprays.
Pre-made desk dividers for students and teachers have been ordered and are ready to be distributed to school buildings.
CCS maintenance carpenter Dana Minor and his team have created custom-made plexiglass dividers for staff currently working in district buildings.
“The first thing we did when we got the order. Probably put out 140 in the first two days,” said Minor.
School building main offices, secretary desks, cafeterias, and shared spaces have been equipped with these custom-made dividers.
“I would say numbers have probably quadrupled since then, and we still keep getting orders in as people come back to work,” said Minor.
Despite the district's campus closure of school buildings, district officials say they still have to prepare aggressively while looking ahead to the future.