Breaking down amount of PPE for K-12, college

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 8:37 PM CDT
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(Valley News Live) -

The first day of school is fast approaching for K-12 and college students across the Valley. School leaders are saying "bring it on" to the pandemic as they sit on hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal protective equipment.

"It's going to be an expensive endeavor, but it's a public safety thing, so we'll do what we have to do to keep our students and employees healthy," said Kara Gravley-Stack, Dean of Students at MSUM.

College students going to MSUM, UND and NDSU are the first set of kids to go back to school with August 24th quickly approaching. It's leaving many families wondering if campuses have enough PPE like face masks, shields and thermometers.

"We do have a lot of stations for hand sanitizers in heavily-trafficked areas," said Gravley-Stack. "We'll have some clear face shields and another kind of clear face mask, especially for individuals who may be deaf or hard of hearing."

"We're trying to be proactive both to prevent surface transmission and as well as airborne transmission," said Levi Bachmeier, West Fargo Public Schools Business Manager.

Bachmeier said they have over $100,000 going into the school year.

"We're purchasing everything from disposable masks to cloth masks, said Bachmeier. "We've been purchasing plexiglass, face shields, eyeglasses."

West Fargo will also have floor markers to remind people of the 6' of distance in key places like offices, lunchrooms, and line-up areas.

Fargo and Moorhead Public Schools will be giving all students and staff one cloth face mask at the start of the school year. If you go to a school in West Fargo, it'll be up to you to bring one. School leaders say there will be extras on hand just in case.

Although the pandemic is leaving schools with a hefty bill this fall, they say they're doing the best, and it has to be done in order to get back to learning.

Wednesday night, Minnesota State University and the University of North Dakota students and parents will be able to join a zoom to ask questions about their safety as they return back to school.

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