Partnership Helps Systems Meet Safety Standards as They Plan for 2020-2021 School Year

Louisiana Department of Education and Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management supplying one million masks and additional PPE as schools reopen.

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 12:34 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Louisiana Department of Education is partnering with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (GOHSEP) and parish emergency management directors to ensure students and educators have the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to begin the new school year. GOHSEP is providing school systems, non-public schools and early childhood centers with PPE, including a combined one million masks.

"It is critically important for us to protect our young people as schools begin to operate in the fall," said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. "Face coverings are an important part of the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are included in a mandate set by Gov. Edwards earlier this month. We are proud to be a part of making these resources available on campuses across the state."

"I'm grateful for this partnership that will help supply our schools with PPE as they begin the important work of educating students," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. "We're in uncharted territory and we need all hands on deck to safely reopen schools."

In coordination with LDOE, GOHSEP is assisting school systems, non-public schools and early childhood centers facing hardships or a shortfall secure PPE for students and staff. GOHSEP will provide each school with:

At least one cloth (reusable/washable) mask for each student and faculty member
At least 2,000 additional disposal masks for visitors, students or faculty who may forget their mask
At least three thermometers per school

The LDOE collaboration with GOHSEP will assist schools in meeting the safety standards passed by BESE in July. Bulletin 741 requires that school employees be provided adequate access to hygienic supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectant wipes or spray, paper towels and tissues. Face coverings should also be provided when needed.

School systems make PPE requests directly to their Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) director. Delivery will be made to system warehouses for school distribution, as systems already have a mechanism to disseminate supplies. School and system leaders can contact LDOECOVID19support@la.gov with questions.

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