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COVID-19 Prompting Closures of Schools


By Dan Hounsell Facilities Management
empty classroom

The nation’s healthcare facilities continue to struggle as the number of COVID-19 cases surge in many states. As was the case when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the spring, many again face shortages of personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields and gowns. Hospitals also face staffing challenges as COVID-19 is afflicting front-line workers, but they are not alone in this challenge. Schools also are coping with shortages of staff and faculty.

Consider the case of Randolph Central Schools in Winchester, Ind., which is one of a growing number of East Central Indiana school districts forced to switch to remote learning as the result of a surge in the number of staff and students in quarantine, according to the Star Press.

The district recently announced the decision because of a staff shortage due to positive test results and contact tracing. Officials say that as a result, they are unable to properly supervise the buildings as a result of these staffing issues.

They stressed that the decision is being made because of staffing issues and not because of COVID-19 spread in district buildings, adding they do not have an adequate substitute teaching pool in spite of repeated efforts to recruit.

The problem goes beyond teachers, according to the district to include administrators and custodians.

Dan Hounsell is editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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