The health department in Pasco County recently received a $12 million grant from the Florida Department of Health, that is intended to help with the return of students to school, according to Ray Gadd, deputy superintendent of Pasco County Schools.
“This is a very broad grant,” Gadd said, during a school board meeting last month. “It’s allowing us to purchase canopies, picnic tables and various supplies that will help us kind of separate kids during lunches and cafeteria time, to help mitigate the impact of COVID in the new school year.
The grant will support more health professionals, nurses and other personnel — allowing district nurses to focus on their nursing duties, which involve screenings and of other activities with students, Gadd said.
“Also, as part of this grant that we have with the department of health, we’ll be continuing to offer testing services to kids and staff, although the department of health will be running those testing programs.
“They’ll be doing it with a mobile bus on the east and the west side of the county. We’ll still have this location here, in the center of the county, but the department of health will be running it, as opposed to the school system.
“In addition, we are offering vaccinations through Health Heroes, and this is strictly voluntary,” Gadd said. That program provides free vaccinations for youths age 12 and older.
Published July 21, 2021