Gwinn Area Community Schools hiring COVID testing coordinator

North Central UP

GWINN. Mich. (WJMN) – Following a start to the school year still heavily impacted by the pandemic, Gwinn Area Community Schools is accepting applications for a COVID Testing Coordinator. The move comes after Superintendent Brandon Bruce met with the school’s administrative staff to check in on how the district’s COVID-19 protocols were going over.

Prior to a recent ten-day shutdown due to positive COVID tests and high numbers of close contacts, the staff had reported that tasks including contact tracing, contacting families of students, and communicating with the Marquette County Health Department were taking away from hours that would be better spent focusing on education inside the classroom.

“They were bogged down just trying to keep things in place,” Bruce said. “So it’s a position that’s going to kind of develop as we go. We have some specifics for this person, the duties that will entail, but we’re interested to see how it grows and develops as the school year goes on.”

As the school system works to keep its protocols in place, including stretches prior to the shutdown that involved testing over 50 students a day, Bruce hopes the new role will keep lines of communication efficient and clear.

“It just became a situation where staff was here at 6 o’clock, 6:30, or phone calls were going out at 7 o’clock at night,” Bruce said. “Just the days became long trying to keep that list up to date. And I know the health departments are bogged down with the same thing. They’re dealing with the communication, so we’re at a point where we have a situation where we’re contacting families in regards to a close contact and letting them know you’ll be contacted by the health department. Well, then they’re contacting us back ‘Hey I haven’t heard anything, it’s been two, three days.’ You know so we just want to try to support all of the agencies as we work together through this and we felt this would be a great way to bridge that gap.”

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