CLEVELAND, Ohio – Eric Gordon, CEO of Cleveland Schools, shared a comprehensive plan for vaccinating school staff, as well as those working at private and charter schools in the city, during a board meeting Tuesday.
Cleveland schools won’t be part of the first week of vaccination, though Gordon is confident the school district will be in the second week of February 8th. The Cleveland schools vaccination schedule includes two locations, one at East Technical High School and one at Max S. Hayes High School. These locations will have six “alleys” through which staff can move, with CSMD nurses administering the vaccine. Some are already working on managing them to different groups.
Also included in the plan are five groups for receiving the vaccines. The first group will be opened by a public vaccination event with school officials to increase the visibility of the vaccine. The largest groups are the third and fourth groups, which include student teachers, substitute teachers, and school administrators.
The locations are open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Gordon said the district is working with managers to find out if there are any gaps where employees could be vaccinated and that the district has an asynchronous day on Wednesday that could be used for vaccination.
Also included is a waiting list on which additional doses can be quickly distributed.
“We don’t think it has to take weeks if the offering becomes available,” said Gordon.
In the event that employees experience side effects, an ambulance service is available.
School staff will be given an exemption if symptoms of COVID-19 appear during the leave for quarantine approved by the school board, isolation or symptoms. The board members also unanimously approved an additional personal day for employees receiving both doses of the vaccine.
Schools in Cleveland are said to be given the Moderna vaccine, which takes 28 days between doses to build immunity.
The staff for the locations and these personal incentive days would be supported by federal funds.
What is uncertain about the plan is how many charter schools and private schools will work with the district to vaccinate employees. These employees are integrated into the group plan. Officials also don’t know when the district will receive the vaccine, though Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said schools should get information by Friday.
Gordon said the planning remains “very, very fluid” as details are worked out.
Cuyahoga County Health Department could use the district’s school buildings as vaccination sites, Gordon said. Before that, there was a vaccination session at James Ford Rhodes High School. The Cleveland Clinic has also sought a local partner.