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Temperature Screenings, Disinfecting, Masks And More: Team With Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Drawing Up Principles For Reopening

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese says its new COVID-19 Educational Planning Team is working toward a safe and responsible reopening plan for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

After reviewing coronavirus research, surveying parents and teachers and looking at other reopening measures, the team today released several principles on which the plan will be based.

They include – daily temperature screenings for students and staff, daily cleaning and disinfecting of buildings, mask-wearing and social distancing, limiting visitors and volunteers and virtual learning options.

An initial draft of the full plan will go to parent-teacher focus groups, expert consultants and diocesan officials for review.

The COVID-19 Educational Planning Team is made up of principals, regional administrators and diocesan school officials. They meet virtually two to three times a week.

In a news release, Director of Catholic Schools Michelle Peduto said, "As a faith community committed to our mission, we will respond to the fluid nature of this public health emergency with recommendations that reflect science, consultation with experts and consistency with Catholic social teaching. Our top priority is the safe return of our students to their classrooms. In that spirit, we will be following the guidance and requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Office of the Governor and the Pennsylvania Department of Education."

Elementary students will return to school on Thursday, Aug. 27, and Catholic high schools have staggered start dates.

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