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Slaton ISD sees positives adapting to COVID year

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

The Slaton Independent School District has had a few busy weeks starting their new, and different, school year.

COVID restrictions have forced schools to wear masks or alternate days of class attendance on and off campus.

So far, Superintendent Jim Andrus said attendance was overall good. “Attendance has been really, really good. It started off slower than we had hoped, but our people are back,” he said. “Of course there was a hesitancy all over the state, all over the country, but our folks are back and we’re extremely happy that they are glad they’re here.”

That said, they’ve had some issues regarding COVID, where a few have tested positive for the virus.

In this situation, the District already has a plan in place. “We have a representative with the Lubbock County Heath Department that has been assigned to our District,” Andrus said. “Anytime we have a child that goes home or have an adult that goes home and reports they’ve tested positive, we call them immediately. They walk us through their protocol.

“The good thing about wearing masks is that it is a very important part of keeping you from being in close contact – wearing a mask and distancing really prevents a lot of the spread of illness of all kinds,” he added. “Fortunately, the few adults and the very few kids that we’ve had that have tested positive they have either self quarantined before they were diagnosed or have been wearing their mask and have not been in close contact.”

The District has also taken steps to catch potentially ill school attendees, using thermometers to determine body heat.

They also have a Thermal Body Temperature detector at the entrances to do the checks.

Andrus said the machines have been very useful. “They are really awesome little pieces of machine,” he said. “Once they’ve been calibrated in a room, you just walk by it. It doesn’t read your skin temperature it reads your body core temperature, and so it’s really really helpful to scan people quickly as they walk by.”

Andrus said the detectors have been effective in catching a few people who  were possibly ill. He added those people have gone to the nurse to have an inner ear thermometer check just to confirm the initial reading. Those confirmed sick were sent home.

For more information please read the Thursday edition of The Slatonite.

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