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.”
Director of the Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Brian Williams has secured a supply of thermometers and masks for the students of the Webster Parish School System. Williams stated, “We were able to work with the Webster Parish School Board to secure thermometers and over 35,000 masks to help with the school reopening. We were also able to assist Glenbrook School with thermometers and 2,500 masks. This was to help them get started and secure a supply chain for ongoing needs. The Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will assist in any future emergency need to keep our children safe while returning to school.”
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.