Yesterday the Iowa Department of Education published their guidelines for the opening of school. In a nutshell, they are recommending opening school as normal, which in our case, is on August 12th. They are not recommending that schools screen students and staff. They are also discouraging the use of face masks.
Even though we can look at these guidelines as good news, we also have to realize that the virus is not going to magically go away. The guidelines do emphasize the importance of handwashing, wearing masks if needed for personal health and using personal protective equipment as needed. They also recommend that schools develop basic frameworks for cleaning high touch areas in the building and on buses. During the month of July we will finalize what Logan-Magnolia guidelines will be for the opening up of our schools. This will be done after consultation with other school districts in the area, local public health, and input from members of the medical field.
The responsibility of school opening on August 12th, will rest with the communities of both Logan and Magnolia. On June 1st the state allowed high school softball and baseball to start practicing with June 15th as the start date for games. As of today, this plan has worked out well. Our teams are following the recommended guidelines of the Department of Education and the fans are practicing social distancing. However, we must remain vigilant if we are to open school on time. All you have to do is look at the states of Texas, Arizona, and California to see what happens when communities don’t take the virus seriously. All these states experienced serious spikes in numbers and are in danger of shutting down again.
Please continue to respect this virus. Practice social distancing. Wear a mask if you are within 6 feet of another person. Wash your hands vigorously and use hand sanitizer. Stay home if you have any symptoms. Even though these steps may seem tedious, they could be the difference between dealing with the virus into next year or putting a stop to it in the near future.
Enjoy the 4th of July holiday and stay safe.