Some Utah Teachers Still Waiting For Masks Promised By State

Aug 17, 2020, 6:49 PM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 12:00 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Some Utah teachers are watching the calendar, hoping they receive their supply of promised face shields and masks before students show up for classes.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s office said on Monday that the personal protective equipment, or PPE, had been sent to all 41 school districts in the state.

“In congruence with my executive order requiring face masks in Utah schools, each teacher can expect 2 face shields and 5 KN95 masks to use this year,” the governor said in a tweet. “The state has finished distributing these to school districts, who will ensure they are allocated to instructors.”

The Canyons School District told KSL that they have not received the supplies that Herbert described. A spokesperson said the district’s warehouse was expecting the shipment to arrive later this week.

A teacher in the Canyons District said she is preparing for some classes with more than 30 students.

“I think we would all feel a lot better with some N95 masks and a little more PPE,” said Whitney Lee, who teaches 7th grade.

Lee said the district and school administrators have been responsive to teachers’ needs, and that they have already received cleaning supplies, cloth masks, a face shield and hand sanitizer.

“We also got a bottle of peroxide cleaner, so we are to clean every desk and chair after every class period,” she said.

Lee said she and fellow teachers want to be back in the classroom as long as they have the necessary supplies.

“I don’t want to do online and distance learning again, but I also want to be safe and feel like my students are safe and my own children are safe,” Lee said.

Granite School District tweeted Monday morning that it was also waiting for the state’s supplies to arrive sometime, and was expecting them this week. The district told KSL that the shipment ended up arriving around 4 p.m. Monday.

It’s a different story at the Alpine School District where the face shields and KN95 masks from the state are already in teachers’ hands.

“We had a team that went up to Salt Lake and picked up the things that the state had provided us,” said Kimberly Bird, assistant to the superintendent at the Alpine School District.

Bird said they worked hard to deliver the supplies to all of the district’s 91 schools before classes start on Tuesday. Instead of five KN95 mask per employee, Bird said that they received enough for about three per employee.

A spokesperson for the Nebo School District told KSL that their allotment of 12,000 KN95 masks and 5,100 face shields had also arrived.

In a follow-up tweet, Governor Herbert went on to say that teachers who have not received their supplies should work with their school’s administration to address their needs.

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Some Utah Teachers Still Waiting For Masks Promised By State