Dozens of SC school districts receiving PPE from the state for the start of the school year

Updated: Aug. 13, 2020 at 8:41 PM EDT
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KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Thousands of face masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, and gallons of hand sanitizer will be in South Carolina schools this fall.

The Kershaw County School District is one of the 70 school districts in the state receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) from the state ahead of the start of the school year.

“It’s going to help us with our plan. The logistical piece to this is just as important as actual schooling itself,” Kershaw County School District Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins said.

Students in Kershaw County will be starting school after Labor Day. Dr. Robbins said this is giving them plenty of time to make sure the school environment will be safe for staff and students.

School districts across the state submitted PPE requests recently. Governor Henry McMaster decided to direct some of the money in the COVID-19 Response Reserve Account to cover these requests. This fund was created by lawmakers to “protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Lawmakers set aside about $155 million in the fund.

McMaster said it’s important to make sure in-person instruction is safe in South Carolina. That’s why he’s using about $10 million to cover the PPE requests from the 70 school districts.

“All the parents aren’t going to send their children to school initially so that will cut down on the number of students that will be in school and that will allow more social distancing,” he said.

Dr. Robbins said at his school district it’s about a 50-50 split on parents opting for virtual or in-person instruction for their children. He also said they expect a dramatic decrease in students riding the bus this year. The school district is working hard to get their hands on electrostatic sprayers to disinfectant their buses.

McMaster said that as the school year goes on school districts can submit more requests for PPE if needed.

“If they need more. We’ll provide more,” he said.

Dr. Robbins stressed that the PPE they’re receiving will help bring them peace of mind.

“Getting the safeguards for our teachers is reassuring,” he said, “and hopefully it’s reassuring to our community as well.”

For more information on which school districts are receiving PPE, click or tap here.

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