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Saturday, August 21, 2021

DCPS admits the DOH hasn't been up for the job. Um, they haven't been up for the job since the beginning of the pandemic.

 In the summer of 20, a school board member told me the DOH was not returning the district's calls when it asked for help and guidance. This same school board member would later say repeatedly that they depended on the DOH for its contact tracing. They passed the buck despite the fact from day one, the DOH was not up for the job, and everyone knew it. Infuriating and reckless.

Spoiler alert the DOH is still not up to the job, so finally, the district is making a change, a change I have urged them to make a half dozen times, a change which, if we think about it, is only slightly above insignificant.

From the Times Union,

 Duval County Public Schools officials say the Duval County health department hasn't been able to keep up with the pace of COVID-19 contact tracing since school started last week. Now, the district is launching new mitigation strategies at elementary schools to compensate. 

On Friday afternoon, the district released two new policies that will go into effect by Wednesday. 

First, the district said if a case impacts an elementary school, families of classmates will receive a letter informing them of the case. The letter will not be a "quarantine or 'stay-at-home' order" but will let families be aware of the increased possibility a student might have been in close contact with someone who presumably tested positive for COVID-19.

Notifying families is a baby step in the right direction, and it is something they should have been doing since the beginning, but why only in elementary schools? Do middle school and high school families not deserve to know? Then none of this is a replacement for proper contact tracing.

DCPS by a country mile is behind every other district that has started the school year. I recently did a piece that showed Hillsborough is quarantining 5 people for every one case and Palm Beach 20, while DCPS in a criminally bad effort, less than one. 

We can and should be doing better, and if the people in charge can't or don't want to, they should be replaced.

1 comment:

  1. Other large counties in FL also have instituted actual masks mandates while DCPS "strongly recommends" wearing masks. There is no enforcement power making opt out clauses meaningless. Essentially every student does not have to wear a mask if they don't want to do so. Teachers are told to report students to administrators if they are not wearing masks without opt out forms but really what's the point? It's the whole referral thing over again but with much higher stakes. In an effort to appease Dick Corcoran and the board Greene has done the bare minimum. And we all know how well appeasement works.