CLEVELAND — Northeast Ohio’s largest public-school system, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), is expecting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this week.
CMSD CEO Eric Gordon says the school system has plans to deliver doses to staff at two locations.
“One at Max Hayes High School, one at East Technical High School. Those centers will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday 7:00 a.m. to noon,” says Gordon.
Of their 7,000 eligible staff and contractors, 75% want the vaccine and another 6% already have received it. Gordon says the school system will not be able to bring students back by Gov. Mike DeWine's March 1 recommendation date because the vaccine is being delivered too late to meet the deadline and the two doses have to be administered a month apart.
“Which means our second dose would begin March 11th and 12th and so we’re probably looking at completing our vaccines right before our spring break,” says Gordon.
In addition to CMSD nurses vaccinating staff members, they will also be giving doses to 10,000-12,000 other educational staffers.
“So we do have a number of our charter schools and non-public schools that selected the board of health and CMSD as their partner. That means the employees of those schools will come to our centers to be vaccinated right alongside our professional staff,” says Gordon.
CMSD will also have an on-call list to make sure no shots go to waste in case appointments are missed. School leaders are tracking COVID cases and hospitalizations with plans to safely reopen in a hybrid model once all staff who wants the vaccine has both doses.
“Those numbers keep coming down and simultaneously we’re ensuring that our employee educators are safe, that’s the formula for moving to hybrid for all of our kids in our communities,” says Gordon.
It’s also important to note that just because a school staff member is eligible for the vaccine, they need to sign up for the vaccine through their schools, because Walgreens and CVS can deny them if they’re under age 70.
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- More COVID vaccines will soon be going to pharmacies nationwide
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
- Rollout of COVID-19 vaccine to Northeast Ohio's educators starts slowly