Advisory council formed for school reopenings

Greyhound nation and Singing River Health System announced a new partnership today to form a game plan on how to best reopen schools in the age of COVID-19.

School administrators are tasked this summer with reopening schools in a safe manner during a global pandemic.  Ocean Springs School District Superintendent Dr. Bonita Coleman said, “We have been placed in a situation to make some serious decisions around health and safety with the coronavirus that really requires a specialized level of care.”

Enter Singing River Health System’s new ‘Medical Advisory Council.’ Comprised of four members with expertise in pediatrics, community relations, and infectious diseases, the council will work with Ocean Springs School District leaders on strategies for reopening. Ocean Springs Hospital Administrator Heath Thompson said, “Screening for symptoms, we’ve all heard a lot about that with the fever, the cough, or maybe the onset of the shortness of breath. And then, what we call safe distance, or that would be your social distance strategy, and the third would be what we call sanitization strategy.”

Moving forward the council hopes the measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 will translate into positive healthy habits for students. “They’re going to develop a lot of hygiene habits related to an infection prevention that are going to only help us reduce the spread with things like COVID, but also with flu,” said Thompson.

School district officials say they’re eager to expand their relationship with Singing River as they explore all learning options ahead of the scheduled start of school on August 5th. Dr. Coleman said, “We want all of our children, all of our staff members to be in our buildings, but we want to do that safely. We have a very healthy fear of this virus, and that makes all of us cautious.”

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