Latimer: Task force will help school districts tackle topics like PPE, contact tracing

Next Friday is the deadline that schools in the region have to submit their reopening plans to the state — to confirm whether or not they can reopen their doors to staff and students.

News 12 Staff

Jul 20, 2020, 5:47 PM

Updated 1,403 days ago

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Next Friday is the deadline that schools in the region have to submit their reopening plans to the state — to confirm whether or not they can reopen their doors to staff and students.

The state Board of Regents and the Department of Education released a framework to guide districts as they plan for school to return in the fall.

The framework includes guidelines for in-person instruction, remote learning and a hybrid of the two.

The state and Westchester County say the health, safety and well-being of children and adults in schools are paramount.
County Executive George Latimer says they are working with a group of other county officials, including superintendents and those from the Department of Health.  
They are drafting ways school districts can meet state protocols when reopening.

"As they put together their checklists, their protocol lists, we made this working task force available to them to help work it out so they put their plan together and they know insofar as that plan affects the county...," says Latimer. 
Some discussions focus on preventive measures such as health checks, screenings, ways to isolate the sick until they can be sent home as well as cleaning and disinfection procedures. 
The state says schools will be required to perform regular school bus disinfections and train students and school bus staff to socially distance and wear a mask at all times. 
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Westchester County Executive George Latimer delivered his weekly coronavirus update Monday.
BRIEFING NOTES:
- 467 active cases in Westchester.
- 5 deaths over last 8 days.
- Latimer says Westchester is still working through strategies to work through budget gap from COVID-19.
- Touches on June 20 spike incident in Chappaqua, no additional cases expected. Says they are not aware of any other spike incidents. No spike seen from Fourth of July.
- Latimer encourages continued push for testing.
- Latimer discusses working group to support school districts with public health, emergency preparedness and response matters. County officials say the task force will help schools with issues such as PPE purchases and contact tracing.
- Task force will be made up of county officials, health departments and related departments
- Latimer says school districts are going through checklists of what they have to do, challenges depending on age of students. Latimer calls it a complicated task, says county is trying to be a partner where it can help.


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