July 20, 2021 | MESSAGE FROM MCDANIEL - COVID-19 Health and Safety Update
OKCPS Families & Staff,
As our staff begins to return from Summer Break and we look forward to welcoming students back on August 9th, I want to reassure you that OKCPS is continuing to focus on creating the safest possible learning and working environment for our students and staff.
Our latest OKCPS COVID-19 Safety Plan was released today, and it is a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that places health and safety at the center of back to school preparation by continuing to provide an intense and consistent approach to the following key areas.
- Daily Self-Screening
- Cleaning & Indoor Air Quality
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Hand Hygiene & Respiratory Etiquette
- Physical Distancing
- Incident Reporting & Response Protocol
- Vaccination & Testing
For those who may not have heard, OKCPS no longer requires masks to be worn while on buses, in a school or District building or on any part of a District campus per the parameters put in place by OK Senate Bill 658, which went into effect on July 1, 2021. We do, however, welcome all of our staff, students, families, and visitors to continue wearing a mask while visiting district properties, activities, and events; and we strongly recommend that those who have not been vaccinated do so.
OKCPS is also moving forward with a variety of safeguards to create layers of protection on our campuses, including a continued focus on cleaning, ionization, self-screening, access to PPE, contact tracing, testing and social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
But, as with most things, we cannot do it alone.
Vaccinations are the number one preventative measure against the COVID-19 virus. With the arrival of the Delta variant, we are now seeing a rise in COVID-19 case numbers here in our state. It is more important than ever that those who are interested and able to get vaccinated do so as quickly as possible. The latest data tells us that, nearly without exception, the new cases and deaths are unvaccinated individuals in Oklahoma. We also know that adults who have been vaccinated have a much smaller risk of getting COVID-19 and that children who may get sick are recovering at a 99.995% rate. Ultimately, this means that the greatest risk for OKCPS in the months ahead will be adults who do not get vaccinated and their exposure to one another.
OKCPS has worked with community partners to provide vaccination opportunities to our staff, students, and families throughout the summer. As additional opportunities are made available and as younger populations become eligible for the vaccine, OKCPS will continue to keep you informed. In the meantime, you can visit any of the OCCHD Clinics or go to www.vaxokc.com to find a location offering the vaccine.
Although we are very excited to begin a new school year together, we must keep safety at the forefront of all we do. District teams will continue to work with our public health partners to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 and the most recent variants of the virus. In the meantime, I encourage each of you to take a moment to read and understand our updated OKCPS COVID-19 Safety Plan as you take steps to protect yourself, your family and those around you.
For more information on our safety efforts and Back to School, please visit: www.okcps.org/backtoschool.