Suggestions for safely reopening schools added to University Hospitals’ ‘Healthy Restart Playbook'

Updated: Jul. 21, 2020 at 1:27 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - University Hospitals announced that a new section has been added to the Healthy Restart Playbook: Tips for safely reopening schools.

The new section supports guidelines for kindergarten through grade 12 schools with health and psychosocial information for students and their families.

Dr. Joan Zoltanski, UH Community Reactivation Director, says this is in response to the need from the community.

“We’re trying to listen and quickly turn out content to the community,” she said.

Added information includes planning points for educators, how parents should talk about COVID-19 with their children, what the new school day may look like, and how to properly wear a mask.

A topic they’re getting asked about frequently from schools and parents, and they’re attempting to answer, is what’s the game plan when someone gets sick?

“It’s not really a question of if it happens, it’s probably a question of when this will happen? And how can we provide the safest environment for our families our employees and their families as well,” said Alison McCloskey, Director of the Cleveland Council of Independent Schools.

Dr. Zoltanski says it should be addressed on a case by case basis, depending on who the patient is, and who they’ve had contact with.

“First thing you’d do is take the student out of the classroom setting, of course. There should be an area for students to wait. Then immediately contact the parent. After the students leaves and seeks medical attention when they test positive, you’ll be working with your health department to figure out that plan for contact tracing and what would happen in your school,” she said.

University Hospitals is working with multiple Northeast Ohio schools as districts ponder how to reopen in the fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

They’re also, like with businesses, available to consult with or visit schools to address individual needs and concerns.

One of the tips from the playbook: Don’t wait until the day before school starts to get children used to wearing a mask. Have them break them in like a new pair of school shoes.

This playbook, which was launched in early June has already been downloaded more than two thousand times.

University Hospitals is encouraging schools and parents to download it. Click here for the Playbook.

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