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Educators express coronavirus concerns as school year approaches

School leaders are finalizing their plans and using teachers as a key resource.

LORAIN, Ohio — With the start of the school year just weeks away for some districts, there are concerns about how to move forward and do so safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

School leaders are finalizing their plans, using teachers as a key resource.

"In the last week, most of the conversations were about the safety because we’re hearing a lot of conflicting reports from the president, from the CDC, from all of these organizations on what is safe," Lorain Education Association President Jay Pickering explained to 3News. "I know teachers are very concerned about their own personal safety as well as the staff and students."

Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro adds not only are teachers concerned about safety, but also going back and forth between in-person and remote instruction.

"It’s pretty clear that as you have outbreaks of the virus, there’s going to be a need to shutdown a classroom or shutdown a school," he said.
DiMauro also believes public health experts need to be very clear in terms of what’s necessary to keep everyone protected.

"Requiring masks for adults who work in schools is a good start, and we know the governor has also issued recommendations on students wearing masks, recommendations regarding social distancing," he said. "Too many of those recommendations are not being issued as mandates, and we need to have clear mandates that will protect the health and safety of adults and children who work in and around schools."

Resources like personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer. and social distancing barriers are also a concern. DiMauro says the union is counting on Congress to step up and provide additional funding relief.

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