St. Johns County schools spent $2.4 million on COVID-19 safety measures

Desk shields account for more than half of district’s virus-related expenses

St. Johns County schools will have substitutes, nurses on each campus upon reopening

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Before students returned to St. Johns County classrooms on Monday, district officials had spent more than $2.4 million outfitting the buildings with cleaning supplies, equipment, PPE and protective barriers.

The most expensive COVID-19 related cost so far is the desk partitions installed in each classroom. The district spent $1,637,518 on those barriers, meant to allow students a temporary reprieve from wearing their masks during lectures or classroom instruction.

A digital thermometer was also placed in classrooms for daily temperature screenings of each student, equipment that cost the district $148,848.

A full breakdown of the district’s virus-related expenses can be viewed below:

This breakdown does not include any additional payroll or overtime expenses for employees who worked on COVID-19 related projects or extra nursing and substitute staffing positions that were created in response to the pandemic.

News4Jax asked the district how much of these expenses are expected to be covered by federal CARES Act funds, but did not receive an immediate response.

Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Education presented that about $693,223,066 in CARES Act funds would be distributed to local education agencies, representing at least 90% of the K-12 allocation of those federal allocations.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.