Duval superintendent urges students to take coronavirus precautions on campus & outside of school

Duval County Schools Superintendent Doctor Diana Greene is urging families to take precautions both in and out of school—as the district is dealing with COVID-19 clusters in several schools. News4Jax reporter Jennifer Ready is live outside one of those impacted schools-- Fletcher High.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene on Thursday sent a message to families, encouraging them to take precautions both at home and out in the community to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Face coverings, washing hands, staying home when you are sick and social distancing to the greatest extent possible are the best ways we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important to follow these practices when you are in school, and it is just as important to follow these practices when involved with other activities outside of school,” Greene said in the message.

In a video released Thursday by the school district, doctors from UF Health Jacksonville joined in to help emphasize the message “Team Up for Health.”

“If at all possible, please try to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. I know you’re in school, especially for those high schoolers out there, it’s incredibly difficult. But please remember it’s for your health and safety and the health and safety of those around you and your loved ones," said Ashley Norse, M.D., emergency medicine physician at UF Health Jacksonville.

And as cold and flu season approaches, the superintendent also urged parents to keep their children home if they have symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat or other flu-like symptoms.

Both Fletcher High School and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts have moved to online learning due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Fletcher High is scheduled to reopen to students on Oct. 29, and Douglas Anderson students are set to return to campus on Oct. 30.

On Thursday, the St. Johns County School District also sent out an update with information from Superintendent Tim Forson about safety protocols.

The message said all meetings will be conducted virtually until further notice, and when a face-to-face meeting is necessary, it has to be in a space that allows for at least 6 feet of distance between participants at all times. The message also stated staff members are also expected to wear face coverings when they can’t socially distance and lunch gatherings for teachers and staff are not permitted.