DCSS temporarily suspends meal delivery service

DCSS temporarily suspends meal delivery service
Dougherty County School System

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - On Sunday, the Dougherty County School System announced that it is temporarily suspending meal services that began on March 13.

This comes after the district was notified that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

The school system said a member of the school nutrition staff at one of the hubs became ill on March 26.

Although the initial medical diagnosis was a sinus infection, not COVID-19, the employee did not return to work after March 26, according to the school system.

After the symptoms worsened, the employee found out they tested positive for COVID-19 on April 4.

The school system said although none of the employees who might have come in contact with the infected employee have reported symptoms, they have all been notified of the possible exposure and directed to self-quarantine through April 9.

DCSS Superintendent Kenneth Dyer said he is disappointed that the school system would have to temporarily stop meal services.

"The decision to suspend meal service was not taken lightly. I am well aware of the food insecurities of many of our students and the critical need for our meal service in our community. Over the last three weeks, we have provided over 162,000 meals, and it literally pains me to think that some children might not have nutritious meals during this suspension of services. I must, however, balance the need to provide this service with the need to provide for the safety and well-being of our employees, and the students we serve. We fully intend to resume services once the self-quarantine period has ended, and the remainder of the personal protective equipment, currently on backorder, is received.”
Kenneth Dyer, Dougherty County School System Superintendent

The district said they have gloves and face shields on hand, but have been waiting on orders of masks for weeks, with delivery expected in mid-April.

Although CDC recommendations did not include masks at the time they were ordered, the school system said the order was made to provide an additional layer of personal protection.

With new guidance released last week, including from the CDC now recommending the use of masks, district leaders said they feel it is important to have masks and other newly recommended items on hand before resuming meal service.

“I look forward to the day that we resume providing this invaluable service to the children of our community,” Dyer said.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.