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Electrostatic disinfectant machines will be used to clean classrooms, students and staff given face coverings

As the Lake Oswego School District makes plans to reopen schools this fall, health and safety are a primary concern for families.

As detailed in the July 20 school board meeting, the district will use disinfecting machines to clean classrooms in between uses and has an updated plan for what to do if a student is suspected to have COVID-19.

COURTESY PHOTO - The Lake Oswego School District will use disinfecting machines to clean classrooms between uses.District nurse Ann Nelson said masks are a baseline level of protection that will be provided in every school building. The district is supplying each staff member with a cloth mask and face shield.

Disposable masks also will be available to all staff and students who have forgotten their masks.

"All students are expected to wear face coverings. … It's one of the absolute best things we can do to help prevent the spread," Nelson said.

Executive Director of Project Management Tony Vandenberg explained the protective equipment and cleaning protocols that will be used at schools.

"We are ordering a whole bunch of plexiglass barriers for our staff and students," he said.

Vandenberg said on top of the hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray that will be used during class time, the district also has ordered a number of electrostatic disinfecting machines to be used in between morning and afternoon classes.

"These large-format machines can clean a room incredibly quick, with a high rate of coverage," Vandenberg said.

The district has put together a protocol for how to report and respond to suspected cases of COVID-19 in schools. Nelson said that although schools will not be doing temperature checks at the door due to time and confidentiality constraints, teachers and parents are being asked to watch for signs that a student is feeling under the weather.

If a student is suspected of having COVID-19, the principal or a supervisor will be notified, at which case the school nurse will be contacted to gather information for contact tracing. The nurse will contact Clackamas County Public Health (CCPH) before collaborating with the principal on communicating information to the broader school and district community while upholding confidentiality.

Then, using any recommendations from CCPH, the school will begin enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.

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