Manatee Schools to employees: If you have COVID-19, stay home
School district offers free testing for students and staff
The Manatee County School District this week delivered a couple of important messages to its 6,000 employees as they prepare to return to work in the middle of another surge in new COVID-19 cases.
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First, you can avoid the long lines at the public testing site at the Bradenton Area Convention Center and go to a special testing site at Marable Park , 3675 53rd Ave. E. ,Bradenton, for employees and students, as well as employees of Manatee County government. School district employees can also get tested, as well as vaccinations and boosters, at clinics at Manatee Elementary School, 1609 Sixth Ave. E, Bradenton, and Southeast High School, 1200 37th Ave. E., Bradenton
And perhaps more importantly, employees who have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive or are awaiting test results, “must stay home until they are symptom free and cleared to return to work or school.”
School district spokesman Mike Barber said a similar message will go students and their families before classes resume Thursday.
Here is the message that went to employees via email and phone messages on Sunday evening:
School District Employees,
As we prepare to return to work on Tuesday, January 4th, we do so during another surge in COVID-19 cases. During this surge, the School District will work closely with the Florida Department of Health Manatee to do everything we can to keep positive cases out of our schools and support sites.
Most importantly, that means anyone who is sick, has COVID-19 symptoms or who is waiting on results of a COVID-19 test must stay home until they are symptom free and cleared to return to work or school.
In addition, starting Tuesday, free COVID-19 PCR rapid tests will be available at Marble Park in Bradenton.
The Marble Park site is located at 3675 53rd Avenue East, and is only open for School District employees, students and Manatee County Government Employees. School or district ID must be shown to be tested. The site is open daily Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (emphasis added)
MCR Health School-Based Health Clinics at Manatee Elementary and Southeast High School also offer COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and booster shots by appointment daily to district employees, Monday through Friday.
We will send an email to all employees on Tuesday with any additional mitigation measures or protocols.
Working together, we can help weather this surge just as we did with the one at the very beginning of the school year.
Thank you for your dedication and help in these efforts.
During the first semester of the 2021-22 school year, the school district reported 3,012 confirmed COVID-19 cases on its campuses — 2,626 among students and 386 among employees.
Schools with more than 100 student cases were Parrish Community High School (160), Palmetto High School (153), Lakewood Ranch High School (148), Braden River High School (120), Southeast High School (118) and Buffalo Creek Middle School (109).