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Grand Blanc Community Schools providing COVID-19 vaccine to 1,200 staff members

The District said a little more than half of the staff asked to receive the vaccine. By the end of the week, they should all be fully vaccinated.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:48 PM EST
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GRAND BLANC, Mich. (WJRT) - (2/23/2021) - Starting in two weeks, elementary students in Grand Blanc Community Schools have the option to be back in their classrooms four days a week.

Fridays will be virtual instruction.

Also on March 8th, the district says the middle schools and high school students will transition to the current hybrid model. That puts them in the classroom two days a week, and home the other three.

The school board approved the new plan at Monday night’s meeting.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Trevor Alward said their efforts to slowly return to normal have been successful so far.

“The transmission rates amongst our students has been low. Outside of school transmission - we’ve had some of that that’s taken place,” he explained. “And we have also had had quarantine and isolation periods for staff. I think the figure that our Superintendent reported for the Board last night was roughly 2,000 days our staff had been out for COVID related quarantine or isolation periods. So that significantly disrupted what we’re trying to do for consistency purposes.”

So what’s the solution?

Dr. Alward said they’re working to get the COVID-19 vaccine for their 1,200 staff members. That includes teachers, coaches, dining services employees and bus drivers.

The District is working with the Genesee County Health Department to vaccinate their staff.

Dr. Alward explained a certain amount of vaccines have been set aside for all of the school districts. By the end of the week, he expects nearly every employee who wanted to vaccine will have received their 2nd dose.

Some people have been able to sign up on their own, too. That’s how Sarah Hugo got hers.

“It feels good to say I am fully vaccinated,” she shared.

Hugo works in the administration office at Grand Blanc Community Schools.

Because she’s an essential employee and her husband is a teacher, the two were able to get in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting last month.

It’s a big help to the district which is making its way through a list of hundreds of employees.

Hugo said she received the 1st dose of the Moderna vaccine with no issues, but a sore arm. The 2nd dose this past week was a different experience.

“The body aches, the sweating, the fatigue -- I was just so exhausted. And I was going to work from home the next day; and I ended up calling in at like 5:30 a.m. that morning,” she said. “I let my boss know that there was no way I could work from home and I literally slept until 4:30 p.m. that afternoon.”

Hugo said it took a full 36 hours after the 2nd dose before she started feeling like herself again.

“We know people who have had COVID. We know people who have passed away, unfortunately from COVID,” she said. “And it like, broke my heart that these individuals have gone through this experience you know, for days, weeks, some months. And here I am, 36 hours feeling terrible, and I was thankful that it was only 36 hours.”

To help others know what to expect when it comes their turn to roll up their sleeve, Hugo detailed her experience on social media. And she said, despite the never-ending headache, the joint aches and the sleepless night, she wants her community to know it’s worth it.

“I just think that the more protection we can have, I mean, it’ll be over,” Hugo said. “All of our family -- we missed out on all these gatherings and Christmas and everything; and finally, we’re thinking, okay, three weeks, a month from now, like, we’re gonna go out to dinner and we’re gonna feel safe doing it because we are fully vaccinated.”

Knowing that experiences like Hugo’s with the 2nd dose are not rare, Grand Blanc Community Schools worked with the county health department to set up clinics vaccinating the staff on Fridays.

That way, the Deputy Superintendent said, they have a few days to recover before returning to work.

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