Temperature Checks, Hand-Sanitizer Stations, Privacy Dividers Part of Pine Tree ISD COVID-19 Protocols

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Schools are facing a big challenge in keeping students and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. KLTV gets a look at just how it’s being handled at Pine Tree ISD in Longview.

People need to stay back and keep it clean, according to Pine Tree ISD Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Planning Tony Hollins. It starts with proper personal protective equipment like masks for students and face shields for teachers, and:

“Approximately 65 hand sanitizer stations throughout the district, and I think that’s working well,” Hollins said.

The sanitizer is on locally-built, waist-high, metal stands with controlled dispensing and a carpet mat to catch drips so there are no slips. And when the custodial staff cleans in classrooms:

“They check the teacher’s bottle of sanitizer, and they fill it upon need,” Hollins said.

And there are automated temperature gauges at school entrances. Exact protocols are set at each school.

“The principals and their staff basically has taken over that roll to determine what works best for each campus,” Hollins said.

And teachers play a role in classroom setup. Some teachers recruited parents to help create transparent dividers. Hollins says his custodial staff will soon start building those.

Privacy dividers are used in some classrooms and in cafeterias.

“They are being utilized in all locations with the exception of the primary campus. They’re the only campus where they’re actually eating their meals in the classroom,” Hollins said.

And as far as cleaning, well, Hollins says they began ordering those supplies in March, but even before that:

“A lot of the equipment that a lot of other districts are purchasing now, we were very fortunate to already have a lot of the electrostatic sprayers,” Hollins said.

He said they bought some to fight the flu four years back, and have bought more.

“Every one of our campuses has one,” Hollins said.

There is also a smaller one used in the athletic department, and they do a lot of spraying.

“We disinfect these classrooms nightly,” Hollins said.

And their resupplying was already computerized so:

“That request then comes to our shipping and receiving department who processes the issue and then delivers that to the campus,” Hollins said.

So, it looks like a pretty well oiled, or maybe cleaned, machine.

Hollins said his staff has extra work to do, but got in some good practice during the time when the schools were shut down, and during summer school.

As of Friday, Sept. 18, Pine Tree ISD has had 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the student population and five confirmed cases among staff, according to the district.

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