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$1.5 million committed by City, Duval schools for COVID-19 testing, nurses

Mayor Lenny Curry will be joined by DCPS Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene to announce additional precautions in schools, and address this year's Georgia-Florida game.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The City of Jacksonville is joining forces with Duval County Public Schools to fight the spread of COVID-19 on school campuses.

Mayor Lenny Curry announced a partnership with DCPS alongside Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, City Council Member Brenda Priestly-Jackson and Emergency Preparedness Division Director Steve Woodard in a Zoom livestream Wednesday afternoon at 12:05. 

Curry also gave an update on the city's COVID-19 response and talk about the recent announcement of the Georgia-Florida game happening at TIAA Bank Field Nov. 7.

Curry said daily percent positive have dropped to 4.2%, adding the trend is in the right direction. 

“As numbers seemed to have plateaued and declining, must practice personal responsibility," Curry said.

When it comes to schools, the mayor said his own children head back to public schools Thursday and that "options are important." The city is committing $750,000, matching $750,000 from DCPS for COVID-19 testing in schools for the 2020 through 2021 school year.

Green said the $1.5 million will be used for rapid testing and hiring an additional 25 nurses. If teachers meet the criteria of having symptoms, they will be sent for a test. Teacher tests would be conducted in a drive-thru, with teachers remaining in their cars, Greene said. Test results will determine an appropriate course of action.

DCPS has outfitted all schools with personal protective equipment to distribute in stages and replenish as needed, Greene said. Teachers do not need to buy more PPE.

The portion of the funding from the city’s contribution will be shared with charter schools, according to Greene. Greene said DCPS is working with the Department of Health on immunizations and a campaign to reach parents to make sure children's vaccines are up to date.

When it comes to the Georgia-Florida game, Curry said he is proud to see the tradition continue, saying it speaks to the resilience of the city.

The mayor also spoke about the plans to redevelop the Shipyards, saying Iguana Investments remains committed to the plan and is not walking away from the deal.

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