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Ottumwa Schools see optimistic return to school year, as staff sign up for vaccine

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:00 AM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Ottumwa Schools has been seeing an optimistic start to their spring semester. In mid-November, the amount of staff in quarantine forced schools to go virtual for two days. The school was cleaned and has remained in-person since.

Superintendent Mike McGrory says he kept a close eye on the COVID-19 numbers once students returned after Thanksgiving. “They surprisingly kept going down. And we’re doing the same thing right now.”

The superintendent believes they won’t have any virtual days with the way the numbers are looking.

And, the currently nine staff in quarantine should drop even more soon.

The school district is taking a survey from staff about whether or not they’d like the vaccine. The projected distribution is set for late January. While some states, like New York, have already rolled out vaccinations for teachers, states like Iowa have put teachers in Phase 1-B, along with other essential workers like food packaging or childcare providers.

McGrory says the schools group “that is the most apprehensive are our staff. And rightly so, because some of them have health issues, some of them live with people who have health issues and so forth...it will hopefully alleviate a lot of anxieties.”

71% of the five hundred and eight staff who have taken the survey currently say they want the vaccine. Superintendent McGrory says staff won’t be required to receive the vaccine.

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