School district approves disinfectant deal to combat virus

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — School leaders in Hamilton County have approved a $2.1 million surface disinfectant vendor contract in taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The local Board of Education voted to hire HES Facilities Management to manage COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings districtwide, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

The Knoxville company partners with K-12 schools and higher education institutions nationwide to provide custodial, maintenance, groundskeeping and landscaping services, according to its website.

The one-year contract — good through May 2021 — will be paid for by a combination of federal coronavirus funding and savings from the general operating budget, the newspaper reported. Tim Hensley, the school system’s communications director, said the board will discuss a possible contract extension next spring.

Fifteen Hamilton County Schools employees are currently infected with the coronavirus, with one person recovering since Sept. 8. About 29 students have active infections, an increase of three cases since Thursday, according to the district’s tracking website.

Currently, the district is on a five-day-a-week, in-person instruction schedule at least through Sept. 25. The school schedule for Sept. 28 through Oct. 9 will be announced on Sept. 21, as the district continues making decisions on a two-week rolling basis.

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