With a little help from the state and Shaw Industries Group Inc., Bartow County’s two school systems have a few more weapons in their arsenal to keep their students and employees safe from …
With a little help from the state and Shaw Industries Group Inc., Bartow County’s two school systems have a few more weapons in their arsenal to keep their students and employees safe from COVID-19.
The Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency, the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Governor’s Office and Shaw teamed up to deliver personal protective equipment and other safety supplies recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to 17 school districts in northwest Georgia to help ensure students’ safe return to the classroom this month.
Shaw Transport sent four 53-foot tractor-trailers to Macon in late July to pick up roughly 150,000 pounds – 106 pallets – of PPE and safety supplies to help protect 135,000 students and school system employees in the districts served by NWGA RESA.
“We are so proud of our northwest Georgia team for helping plan the logistics and successfully responding with our people and resources to help with this important initiative,” said Deanna Mathis, Shaw’s director of community outreach and corporate giving, in a press release. “It’s ingrained in our corporate culture and part of our vision to create a better future for our communities in which we live and work.”
Drivers delivered the trailers, each carrying about 40,000 pounds of materials, to destinations in Bartow, Paulding, Floyd and Catoosa counties, and the school systems in those counties as well as Dalton City, Gordon County, Calhoun City, Walker County, Chickamauga City, Haralson County, Bremen City, Chattooga County, Trion City, Dade County and Polk County picked up their supplies from those locations.
Bartow County and Cartersville City school systems have received such materials as masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, face shields and thermometers in two shipments already, and a third delivery is expected sometime this month.
“We are extremely thankful for the personal protective equipment and critical supplies that have been delivered in phases from the state,” Bartow County’s Chief Leadership and Learning Officer Clint Terza said. “Safety remains our top priority, and the materials are being used diligently by students and/or staff to help ensure a healthy start to the academic year.”
So far, the district has received 15,000 masks, 456 disinfectant wipes, 500 face shields (and awaiting 500 more), 170 gowns, 40 thermometers, 320 hand-sanitizing stations, 2,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and 20 foggers.
In the Phase 3 shipment, which should be delivered directly to Bartow County Schools in mid-August, district officials are expecting 114 hand-sanitizing stations, 708 clear face masks, 8,400 three-ply disposable face masks, 24 fogger machines and 96 cases of fogger solution as well as items that weren’t included in the first two phases.
“The majority of the supplies are distributed within all 20 Bartow County schools based on student counts,” Terza said. “Transportation, central registration and central office have also received a portion of the materials.”
Cartersville officials also are grateful for the materials that will help keep their students and employees safe from COVID-19.
“We are very thankful for the support of GEMA and the supplies they provided to assist us in maintaining a safe learning environment,” said Ken Paige, director of facilities, maintenance and safety for Cartersville.
In two shipments, the school district so far has received 432 bottles of hand-sanitizer gel, 24 hand-sanitizer stations, 11,000 face masks (including adult-sized, youth-sized and three-ply disposable), 235 clear face masks, four boxes of alcohol wipes (24 packs per box with 60 wipes per pack), 100 face shields (for food service workers, pupil transportation employees and school nurses), 30 isolation gowns (for school nurses), six fogger machines and 24 cases of fogger solution.
Paige said GEMA delivered the Phase 1 supplies to NWGA RESA at the end of July, and Paulding County Schools “picked ours up and brought them to us.”
Phase 2 was delivered to Bartow County Schools a week later, “and we went and picked up those supplies,” he said.
“The schools are emailing us what they need, and we are distributing,” he said. “We purchased supplies as well along the same lines and hand-held digital thermometers for schools.”
Paige added Phase 3 materials “should be here within a couple of weeks.”