In an ongoing effort to mitigate COVID-19, the Alachua County Health Department has hired 30 nurses to work at the Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) this upcoming academic year.
The additional ACHD medical staff will join the school’s existing nurses in an effort to relieve school administrators and other staff members from doing most of the COVID-related tasks, including contact tracing, testing, vaccination support and education.
“This will be an enormous benefit for our schools,” ACPS Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon said in a statement. “With this additional support, principals and other staff members can focus on the educational needs of students while still promoting the health of everyone at their school.”
Paul Myers, administrator of the health department, said in a statement the ongoing collaboration between his department, the district and other partners is critical to mitigating the impact of COVID. Those partners include the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, the Florida Department of Health, the University of Florida and UF Health.
“We are collectively building upon the successful reopening of our local K-12 schools,” Myers said. “We have demonstrated that through coordinated efforts, the detrimental effects of COVID-19 can be minimized and the critical in-person instruction of our children can continue.”
Last school year, in an effort to combat COVID, ACPS established a response team to access, improve, and sustain prevention efforts, along with creating an online dashboard for the public to show monthly, weekly, and daily trends in cases throughout the school district.