Hampton City Schools to start vaccinating some staff members

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Some staff at Hampton City Schools will start being vaccinated over the next week.

According to a school division spokeswoman, front-line city staff and high-priority school staff will begin to be vaccinated on Friday and next Tuesday.

The update came during a return-to-learn plan update at the Hampton School Board meeting scheduled Wednesday night.

A division spokeswoman told 10 On Your Side the joint vaccination effort with the City of Hampton comes after the Hampton Health Department was able to secure a “limited number” of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The division didn’t specify how many doses had been received or will be given.

City EMTs and school nurses will administer the doses. More than 30 of the division’s school nurses have already been vaccinated.

The school staff included in the first vaccination group are pre-K through 12th-grade special education teachers and instructional assistants who work with students in a self-contained environment. The group also includes health clerks, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and long-term substitutes.

The second priority group includes pre-K and kindergarten teachers and instructional assistants, bus drivers, administrators, office staff, teachers in grades one through three, and some other positions.

Students in the school division have been learning 100% remotely and will continue to do so through the first week of February. The virtual model covers all students, including pre-K, kindergarten, and select pre-K to 12th-grade students with disabilities served in a self-contained environment.

The division has said it expects to return in-person pre-K, kindergarten and select pre-K through 12th-grade students with disabilities served in a self-contained environment to the school building on Feb. 8.

As of Jan. 20, the total number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days in Hampton was 1,017, which is in the “highest-risk” category. The percentage of tests that are positive also was in the highest-risk category at 19.2%.

However, the ability of the school to implement five key mitigation strategies was in the lower to lowest-risk category, the division said.

Per the CDC, those five key mitigation strategies include:

  • Consistent and correct use of masks
  • Social distancing to the extent possible
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Contact tracing in collaboration with local health department

The division said a family preference survey said 42% of families want their students to return to in-person learning as of Jan. 20.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the board also passed some amendments to the 2020-2021 budget.

The amendments include:

  • A 2% compensation increase for the majority of full-time and part-time employees starting Feb. 1 (will be reflecting starting in Feb. 12 pay)
  • Adjustment to teacher salary scale so years of experience and the steps on the scale coincide
  • A $750 one-time, flat-rate bonus for full-time and the majority of part-time employees effective Feb. 1 (paid as separate check on Feb. 12)
  • Increase in minimum wage starting Feb. 1, moving it up to $9.50. The change reflects the Virginia change to minimum wage, which is effective May 1. (Note: Employees making less than $9.50 an hour will either have their hourly rate adjusted to $9.50 or receive the 2% increase, whichever is greater.)

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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