Round Rock ISD donates 6,500 surgical masks, 7,000 gloves to WilCo first responders in fight against coronavirus

School districts across Williamson County, including Round Rock ISD, have contributed more than 10,000 surgical masks and pairs of gloves, among other supplies, to Williamson County emergency management team. The county will distribute these supplies to medical professionals on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. (Courtesy Fotolia)
School districts across Williamson County, including Round Rock ISD, have contributed more than 10,000 surgical masks and pairs of gloves, among other supplies, to Williamson County emergency management team. The county will distribute these supplies to medical professionals on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. (Courtesy Fotolia)

School districts across Williamson County, including Round Rock ISD, have contributed more than 10,000 surgical masks and pairs of gloves, among other supplies, to Williamson County emergency management team. The county will distribute these supplies to medical professionals on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Local health care providers and emergency workers are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE—such as surgical masks and gloves as well as other supplies—as the coronavirus pandemic hits close to home.

In response to what has been deemed a critical need for these supplies, Round Rock ISD donated approximately 6,500 surgical masks and 7,000 pairs of gloves to the Williamson County Emergency Operations Center on March 26.

“When you look at what we’re dealing with right now, the situation is unprecedented,” said Jeffrey Yarbrough, Round Rock ISD’s director of safety and security. “But so is the response. People are coming out of the woodworks to provide resources that we need.”

Yarbrough is serving as a liaison between the Williamson County emergency management team and area school districts and institutions of higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said RRISD is one of several Williamson County school districts that have stepped up to offer supplies to first responders in this crisis.

Granger ISD has provided temporal thermometers; Hutto, Georgetown and Jarrell ISDs have donated gloves, masks, gowns and PPE kits, he said. To date, these local school districts have provided more than 10,000 gloves and over 10,000 masks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


“We understand the gravity of the situation that we’re dealing with,” Yarbrough said. “That’s why there are so many people giving so much of themselves to help others. I am proud of the fact that we’re continuing to come together to recognize where there’s a need and meeting them with whatever resources we have. I’m so thankful that school districts countywide are able to do their part to mitigate this pandemic and help those who are in need.”

Elaine Douville, RRISD's director of health services, said when she heard about the county’s need for masks and gloves, she tasked her school nurses with taking inventory of their supply. Then, she said she assessed what the district could provide to the county to help with these efforts.

“This is one way RRISD health services nurses can help out our community,” Douville said. “We’re not on the front lines right now, but we’re still trying to do our part and help out those that are on the front lines in their roles as nurses.”

Douville, a registered nurse, said she did not donate the district’s entire supply of masks and gloves. Rather, she said she calculated an adequate supply for the remainder of the semester, should classes resume in April.

RRISD officials announced March 26 that campus closures would extend until at least April 13 with the possibility of closures remaining in place through the end of the school year.

“We know COVID-19 is not going away in 15 days,” Douville said. “At this time, I have to act under the possibility that we could be going back to school this semester and to ensure that my staff has the proper equipment they need to do so.”

The federal government will reimburse the district for the supplies donated, Douville said, so parents need not worry about the health services restocking masks and gloves beyond the 2019-20 school year.

With many Central Texas districts shuttered until mid-April, Douville encouraged other area schools to take inventory of their own supplies and determine if they might be able to make a donation.

“Consider reaching out to your local health department or the emergency operation center in the county that you’re located in and see if you might be able to do the same,” Douville said. ”Whatever you feel you can safely give would be appreciated. Together as a community, hopefully we can all make a difference locally. Every little bit helps.”


MOST RECENT

The Texas State Teachers Association has asked the state to prohibit in-person teaching until at least Sept. 8. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas State Teachers Association demands TEA prohibit in-person classes until Sept. 8

The statement was released after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton earlier this week said that local districts have the sole authority to close schools due to the ongoing pandemic.

Overall in Travis County, there have been 21,214 coronavirus cases since mid-March as of Aug. 2. (Community Impact staff)
Travis County adds 247 new COVID-19 cases Aug. 2, continuing recent trend

Overall in Travis County, there have been 21,214 coronavirus cases since mid-March.

As of July 31, 69 patients are hospitalized, 39 are in intensive care and 21 are on a ventilator. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County confirms 99 new COVID-19 cases July 31; Round Rock total surpasses 2,000

The WCCHD also reported 23% of hospital beds, 19% of ICU beds and 74% of ventilators are available.

The gym, located at 3203 S. I-35, Round Rock, is part of a chain that offers parent-child classes for children ages 4 months to 3 years as well as noncompetitive gym classes, birthday parties, camps and more. (Courtesy The Little Gym)
The Little Gym of Round Rock to close permanently

Owners Rochelle and Ryan Perk announced July 31 that the Little Gym of Round Rock will close permanently Aug. 1.

Pflugerville City Council is currently considering a potential decrease in the city's property tax rate, from the current $0.4976 per $100 valuation to $0.497 per $100 valuation. If approved, the property tax rate would continue council's trend of maintaining or decreasing its rate throughout the past decade. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)
Decreased tax rate, 2 new hires: What's proposed in Pflugerville's FY 2020-21 budget

Pflugerville's proposed fiscal year 2020-21 budget correlates to a 14% increase over the city's current fiscal year budget, as outlined in the preliminary budget proposal. Features of the proposed budget is a decreased tax rate and two new positions.

Dr. Mark Escott, interim Austin-Travis County health authority, spoke at a news conference July 31. (Courtesy Austin Public Health)
Despite downward trend in COVID-19 cases, health officials say Travis County has 'long way to go'

Maintaining Stage 4 health restrictions may help the county prepare for the coming school year.

An orange graphic virus
Travis County adds 278 new coronavirus cases July 30

Austin Public Health also confirmed 46 new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Austin area.

In a July 30 letter, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said "local officials cannot postpone local elections that were scheduled to be held on May 2, 2020 beyond November 3, 2020." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Attorney General Ken Paxton threatens action if Round Rock refuses to hold local election in November

In a July 30 letter, Paxton said that "local officials cannot postpone local elections that were scheduled to be held on May 2, 2020 beyond November 3, 2020."

TASA leaders said in the letter that changing guidelines coming from the state are overly complicated and have only created confusion. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Association of School Administrators asks state for more local control, clear guidelines in 2020-21

TASA leaders said in the letter that changing guidelines coming from the state are overly complicated and have only created confusion.