COLUMBIA S.C. (WBTW) – Over $33 million worth of personal protective equipment is heading to public schools in South Carolina.
State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced Tuesday at River Springs Elementary School the South Carolina Department of Education will purchase and distribute the PPE to all 81 public schools to support efforts to maintain and return to face-to-face instruction.
“With the 2020-21 school year well underway, it is critical that teachers and schools have the supplies needed to ensure face to face instruction can continue to be carried out as safely as possible,” said Spearman. “This statewide order will not only ensure that face-to-face operations can be maintained for the foreseeable future, but will also provide the necessary resources to phase in additional face-to-face learning as health and safety conditions allow.”
The South Carolina General Assembly recently provided the SCDE additional flexibility to use previously allocated Coronavirus Relief Funds to cover the costs of school safety measures taken in response to COVID-19.
These include purchasing masks, gloves, wipes, hand sanitizer, face shields, cleaning solution, plexiglass and other cleaning equipment and supplies.
The SCDE collected requests from each of the public school districts and is able to fund every request made.
The SCDE has purchased and will distribute the following PPE and supplies to school districts:
- 597,585 – Adult and student reusable cloth face masks
- 2,681,950 – Adult and student disposable face masks
- 189,966 – KN95 masks
- 87,010 – Adult and student face shields
- 108,476 – Boxes of Gloves (100 count each)
- 331,913 – Gowns for nurses
- 606,473 – Cases of disinfecting wipes (50 count each)
- 41,474 – Gallons of hand sanitizer
- 99,259 – Bottles (16 oz) of hand sanitizer
- 69,243 – Bottles (32 oz) of disinfecting solution
- 1,746 – Electrostatic backpack sprayers
The SCDE has also facilitated and funded district orders for plexiglass, which when used according to DHEC guidelines, allows classrooms to accommodate additional students while maintaining safety standards.
Over 300,000 pieces of plexiglass have been ordered with many already delivered and being used in classrooms across the state. Other PPE and supplies began to arrive at school district designated delivery locations last week.
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