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Alachua County commission, health department talks about COVID-19 and schools

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 8:44 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Health department workers are telling the Alachua County commission they have a plan to deal with COVID-19 related issues in schools come Aug. 24.

Alachua County Health Department spokesperson Paul Myers explained that students with COVID-like symptoms will have expedited tests as well as other students in the same class-room.

Contact tracers and additional nurses will be on hand for schools to use.

Myers says they have around 3000 tests set aside for that purpose but expects to have to order more before the end of the semester.

While the county has some of the lowest COVID-19 positivity rates in the state, there are still challenges ahead.

“There is no good data to inform us on sufficient mitigation strategies when it comes to the opening of schools when you have moderate community transmission,” Myers said. “In other words, above 5%, we just don’t have good data anywhere.”

The commission has more than $1.7 million in cares act funding to pay for the proposed COVID testing, staffing, and equipment.

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