Safety has always been a top priority for Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) including the screening of visitors, video cameras, fencing, lighting, and more. Now with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), there is an added layer of safety to take into consideration.
CCPS campuses have been closed since the middle of March. Recently, however, we have invited students and families back for some special events—all while following important Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to limit exposure to the COVID-19 virus. For example, you may not have recognized your child’s teacher as she greeted you at your car to provide you with the items your child left in class. Why? Mask and gloves of course! And when our seniors came back to Immokalee High School to take their cap and gown photos, you would have noticed markings on the floor to keep students six feet apart.
Social distancing and protection against COVID-19 is our new normal. Classroom close-out schedules were developed so that no more than 10 teachers were in a building at one time. Parents and students were asked to drive through and not exit their vehicles when picking up materials. And CCPS staff can be seen with masks and gloves throughout.
“The symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild or non-existent which means anyone could unknowingly be carrying the virus,” states Pinecrest Elementary Principal Laura Mendicino. “By wearing protective gear, we are not only protecting ourselves, but others, too.”
While we do our part, we hope our families will do the same by practicing safety at home and in their day-to-day lives. “Lake Trafford Elementary (LTE) is diligently following CDC guidelines on campus as well as off campus,” shares Principal Joy Alvarez. “As an LTE family, we are dedicated and committed to the safety and well-being of our Immokalee community.”
To further limit the spread of COVID-19, here are some important safety tips:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home, and put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home (at least six feet).
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
• Cover coughs and sneezes if you do not have on your cloth face covering and throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
• Monitor your health. Be alert for symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
I think it’s safe to say that we all want to get back to normal—kids in school, businesses open, and parents working. With each of us doing our part, we hope our #CCPSFamily will reunite August 12 for our first day of the 2020-2021 school year.