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COVID-19 protocols increasing in Manatee schools

Manatee County schools will implement several protocols that were in place last year while masks remain optional.

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The School District of Manatee County is increasing its COVID-19 prevention protocols within its schools.

The additional protocols are being put in place as a result of the district in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health Manatee evaluating the number and types of COVID-19 cases during the first two days of school, according to a news release from the district. The first day of school was Aug. 10.

The District Operations Center, which is staffed with employees from the school district and the county health department, reported a total of 76 COVID-19 positive with possible campus exposures for Aug. 12. 

Of the 76 cases, 23 were students and employees in East County schools including Braden River, B.D. Gullett, Gilbert W. McNeal, Tara and Gene Witt elementary schools, Dr. Mona Jain and R. Dan Nolan middle schools and Braden River High Schools. 

Starting immediately, temperature checks will be taken daily for all employees and randomly for students. 

All students and employees who are sick or who have symptoms will be sent home until they are symptom free. 

The district also encourages the use of hand sanitizer as well as proper hand washing techniques among students and staff. 

Schools and buses will be deep cleaned and disinfected daily or in between uses as needed. 

Schools will make every effort to social distance as much as possible and limit non essential visitors and volunteers. 

Elementary schools will be provided plastic shields for classrooms and cafeterias. 

District employees visiting schools, other than their own, must wear masks during the school day, and all employees will answer questions related to COVID-19 daily as they arrive at work. 

Although the masks will remain optional, the district strongly encourages students and employees to wear masks when indoors. The district also encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. 


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