Manteca Unified teachers — or any district staff for that matter — have the ability to request special accommodations if they have underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
An established human resources practice the district references as the “interaction dialogue procedure” has been in place for years for teachers and other staff dealing with health issues where their normal workplace routine and requirements may put them at risk.
Those that have used the policy for health concerns over the years include staff that has undergone chemotherapy.
The fact the procedure is in place weakens assertions being made that the district is turning a blind eye to the health concerns of teachers.
The policy is in addition to $1 million plus spent to purchase personal protection equipment and COVID-19 safety alterations in classrooms. Besides supplying teachers with masks and face shields faculty members will be provided the paper equivalent of hazmat suits to wear if they request them. They also will be afforded protection such as workplaces equipped with Pleixglass shields.
Manteca Unified Community Outreach Coordinator Victoria Brunn noted site level administrators were given a refresher course in the human resources procedure in March when the pandemic emergency was first declared and earlier this month.
How it could work in a situation where a teacher has concerns with being in a more vulnerable age group, has underlying health issues, or simply has concerns regarding COVID-19 is by beginning with the teacher requesting meetings with appropriate school administrators.
A back and forth exchange would likely start with intensifying basic COVID-19 precautions. It could start, for example, by exploring whether limiting it so the teacher is the only one in the classroom and has a bathroom assigned exclusively to them would address the concerns. It could progress all the way up to the teacher being paid not to work if the situation warrants.
Solutions put in place for other health situations often end up with teachers or staff members being assigned different duties and/or workplaces in a bid to assure health issues are addressed.
Significant drop in
positive cases in county
The San Joaquin County Department COVID-19 was showing a significant drop in COVID-19 positive cases in dashboard information posted Thursday at 1:33 p.m.
While the site listed the usual cautionary statement that they are experiencing significant delays due to increased testing volume there were only 132 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours.
At the same time those classified as recovered has increased significantly and is now at 9,951. That leaves 1,391 people out of a county population of 760,000 that are considered not recovered. Overall there have been 11,342 cases in the county since March.
The ICU bed situation in Manteca is still at 10 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds — 5 each at Doctors Hospital of Manteca as well as Kaiser Foundation Hospital of Manteca. The number of overall COVID-19 patients in Manteca hospitals is now 1t 25, up 2 from Wednesday.
Overall there are 80 patients — down 5 from Wednesday — in ICU beds throughout the county with another 62 beds used by patients with other critical health issues. That reflects a licensed capacity of 143 percent meaning 30 non-ICU licensed beds have been converted to ICU beds.
COVID-19 patients account for 56 percent of all ICU patients. That lower percentage reflects the fact there are 5 less COVID -19 patients and 19 more non-COVID-19 patients than the previous.
There are now 713 beds in the county’s seven hospitals in use — 38 less than the previous day. Those occupied by COVID-19 patients has dropped from 248 to 234. As of Thursday 73 percent of all available beds were in use with 33% of them being occupied by COVID-19 patients.
There were five more deaths to bring the toll to 151.
Those who don’t become ill that have tested positive as well as others who may have the virus and have not been tested who also may never get ill are all considered capable of transmitting COVID-19 to those that are vulnerable. That is why the state has mandated the seemingly healthy people need to wear face masks when required as well as social distance and wash hands to reduce the virus’s spread.
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