SHELBY -- As Shelby Schools Superintendent Tim Tarvin detailed the district’s goal to keep school buildings open during the coronavirus pandemic, Board of Education President Lori White noted a key tool in the plan.
“One element to that is the vaccine,” White said at the Jan. 11 school board meeting.
As detailed in Ohio’s coronavirus vaccine plan, Phase 1B includes school teachers and other school staff. They will be offered the vaccine in an effort to get Ohio's children back to school as soon as possible, according to a recent news release from Gov. Mike DeWine.
As part of her remarks, White asked Tarvin where the district stands with the vaccine.
“I just had a school conversation with our school nurse this afternoon,” Tarvin said. "We are taking a survey of staff members who like to receive the vaccine.”
That information still was being gathered, Tarvin said.
“I think it’s going to be around the first of February,” Tarvin said of the vaccine rollout. “We had, perhaps, thought it would come a little sooner.”
On Jan. 11, he said he thought Phase 1A for the community would be “very very soon."
Phase 1A includes health care workers and personnel routinely involved in caring for COVID-19 patients, residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities and EMS responders, for example, according to the state.
“And then the 1B group will go after that,” Tarvin told the school board. “So, we think sometime in the next two weeks, maybe three.”
The shot will be Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine, he detailed. “It’s two doses, 28 days apart,” he said, noting that the vaccine should help the district.
“We went to remote learning, initially, just prior to Thanksgiving because it had become so difficult to staff our buildings,” Tarvin recalled.
“We had at one point 17 members who were on quarantine,” Tarvin continued. “They weren’t necessarily all (COVID-19)-positive. But through contact-tracing, they had to stay home. They could work remotely, but it became so difficult to staff our classrooms.”
He also said that he knows that some people have some questions about the vaccine.
“But we’re running right now I’m going to say about 60 percent, 65 percent of our staff are hopeful to get the vaccine,” Tarvin said. “I am looking forward to that.”
A surge in coronavirus cases in Shelby and Richland County late this past fall had prompted remote learning from Nov. 23 through Jan. 8. In-class instruction resumed on Jan. 11 in Shelby. The pandemic also had closed school buildings in Shelby and across Ohio from mid-March 2020 through the end of the 2019-20 school year.
Check the Shelby Daily Globe for more from Shelby schools, including updates on the online Whippet Academy and the new school being built in the community.