San Antonio teachers worry about not having enough personal protective equipment in classrooms

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SAN ANTONIO – Some teachers in the Northside Independent School District are concerned that they do not have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the classroom.

Governor Greg Abbott vows Texas schools will have sufficient supply of PPE

“We were given a face shield with a protective film that we can peel off when we are ready to use it, then we were given a pack of 80 wipes, and they contain 75% alcohol. So it’s encouraging. And then on the campus where I am, we got an eight ounce bottle of hand sanitizer, ”said Kathryn Medendorp, NISD teacher and secretary of the Northside American Federation of Teachers (NAFT).

Some teachers at Northside ISD say that is not enough PPE.

“Our administration has shared with us that we can contact them and that they can give us more. I just don’t understand why we haven’t received more upfront, ”Medendorp said.

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“The EPP – some campuses have received it, others have not received it at all,” said Katie Curtis, NISD teacher and vice-president of the NAFT College.

Northside ISD said it has enough PPE and some campuses are still sorting it out.

A spokesperson for NISD said the district delivered gloves, masks, shields, disinfectant and wipes to campuses for distribution in classrooms. The district said if teachers needed more items, they should speak with their campus principal.

KSAT has contacted two other large districts to inquire about their PPE plans.

The San Antonio Independent School District said it is providing schools with enough reusable and disposable masks for all teachers. Face shields are also provided and they have 81,000 gloves.

At the Northeast Independent School District, each teacher receives a face shield and a cloth mask. The district says the items have been distributed to each campus and teachers will be receiving them soon. Hand disinfection stations have also been installed in all schools and classrooms have disinfectant solution to spray on surfaces.

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With in-person lessons starting soon, some teachers are taking it risk-free and have purchased their own safety items.

“I took the initiative to provide myself with face shields and masks and make sure I have the correct hand sanitizer, hand washing (items),” Curtis said.

Texas school districts will be required to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the state within 24 hours.

Northside ISD said it is seeking more guidance from TEA on the process.

Next week, the NISD is offering a day care center for employees. The district said the children would be supervised but not educated. The service was provided free of charge to employees so that they could return to the classroom.

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