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COVID-19 Mitigation Project for Georgia’s K-12 Schools

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Institute for Health Logistics & Analytics (IHLA) at Georgia Southern University (GS) has partnered with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to support COVID-19 mitigation projects in Georgia’s kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) public and private schools to help keep them operating safely.

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Reopening Schools Grant Program as part of a financial assistance award to DPH. Georgia’s ELC Reopening Schools program is designed to support safe, in-person instruction in (K-12) schools.

If you are a school or school district and are interested in receiving COVID-19 mitigation items, click the button below to begin the process.

Would you like to preview the enrollment questions or need a hard copy of the enrollment form?
Please click here to view and download a fillable version of the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will be required of the schools or school districts that choose to participate in the COVID-19 Mitigation Project?

We ask that the schools continue to focus on the detection and prevention of COVID-19 according to recommendations by the CDC and DPH. To be eligible to participate in the COVID-19 Mitigation Project, the school or school district must participate in COVID-19 testing in some way, must have a signed MOU on file with DPH, must identify a point of contact for project participation, and must submit required documentation in a timely manner after the receipt of the products. The school will work with the Georgia Southern team to identify appropriate mitigation items to purchase for COVID-19.

Is this mandatory for school districts/schools?

No, this is an opt-in program for school districts/schools.

Are schools required to sign an agreement of any sort with DPH for testing?

Yes, DPH requires that schools sign a memorandum of understanding before participating in turn-key COVID-19 testing, OTC test receipt, or COVID-19 mitigation support through IHLA at Georgia Southern University. Schools can select their level of participation.

What documentation will be required of schools in reference to testing?

Once schools receive the MOU, they can opt-in for the type of testing they prefer to participate in. If it is onsite vendor testing, no testing documentation is required by the school. If it is for the OTC test kits, we ask schools to let us know how many they distribute via a simple MS Forms survey. No other documentation is required.

Where is the link to fill out the MOU with DPH?

In order to enroll, you will need to email the following to covid-k12-testing@dph.ga.gov: (1) Name of Educational Entity (name of school district or school if not a public school district), (2) Primary Contact (First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone Number)

My school is interested in receiving free, over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits from DPH. Who do I contact about this program?

In order to enroll, you will need to email the following to covid-k12-testing@dph.ga.gov: (1) Name of Educational Entity (name of school district or school if not a public school district), (2) Primary Contact (First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone Number), (3) All schools must enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with DPH in order to receive test kits.

Will there be a required amount of COVID-19 tests that need to be performed or sent home to participate?

No. DPH does not require a certain volume of COVID-19 tests. We just asked that you request OTC COVID-19 tests and at a minimum, make them available to your school’s faculty and staff. It would be great to also offer the OTC tests to students and family members of faculty, staff, and students.

Can schools request OTC tests for students/faculty that are not opted in to weekly surveillance testing?

Yes, you can. We just want to promote testing in general. Please contact the K-12 Testing Consultant at covid-k12-testing@dph.ga.gov with OTC test or other COVID-19 testing questions..

If my school or district participated in the DPH K-12 Testing program during the 2021-2022 school year, do we have to sign another agreement with DPH?

Yes, the MOU schools signed for the 2021-2022 school year expired on July 31, 2022. All schools participating in COVID-19 testing with DPH will need to sign a new MOU for the 2022-2023 school year. To enroll in the 2022-2023 school year program, you should submit an inquiry to the following email address covid-k12-testing@dph.ga.gov.

Will schools be required to have COVID-19 testing in order to participate in the Mitigation Project?

Yes, the school or school district will need to offer some type of testing for COVID-19. This can include on-site vendor testing or simply providing free over-the-counter (OTC) tests to staff or students for at home use.

Will schools be required to pay for the onsite vendor testing?

No, DPH will pay for the onsite vendor testing for participating schools. DPH will coordinate the vendor assignment after the MOU is signed. This testing is provided free of charge.

Will schools be required to pay for the OTC COVID tests?

No, DPH will provide the OTC COVID-19 tests for participating schools, free of charge.

We have already enrolled in the DPH Testing Program (ELC), but we are now interested in obtaining items through the K-12 COVID-19 Mitigation Project. Who do we contact?

If you have already completed the DPH MOU, please complete the IHLA enrollment survey above. You can also reach out to us at ihla@georgiasouthern.edu. IHLA will gather additional information and discuss your COVID-19 mitigation needs with you.

When will we know if we have been accepted into the mitigation project with GS?

A member of the IHLA will reach out to you when the enrollment form is received to discuss the next steps.

What is the timeline of availability of this project?

We will begin supporting schools as soon as possible. At this time, our ELC Reopening Schools funding will end in July 2023 so we have to make purchases prior to that time.

Our school district has chosen to not enroll, but our school would like to enroll – is this acceptable?

Yes, you may still participate in the ELC program and the COVID-19 mitigation project if your district allows the school to participate individually. To enroll in the program, you should express your interest by sending an email containing the following information to covid-k12-testing@dph.ga.gov : (1) Name of Educational Entity (name of school district or school), (2) Primary Contact (First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone Number). You will be contacted by DPH staff to complete the program enrollment process.

Are the funds given as a grant, or do we turn in our purchase orders to you, or do we buy and submit for reimbursement?

IHLA will work with you to prepare a product quote for each school. Once we have your approval of the purchase list, our office will handle the entire purchasing process and relay delivery information to you. This is not a reimbursement program as we handle all of the purchasing directly.

What is the time frame in which we have to spend the funds?

We encourage schools to use this money quickly, so that we can determine if another round of funding is available.

Can we purchase more COVID-19 test kits with the funds?

No, IHLA funds are not to be used for COVID-19 test kit purchasing. This will come for free from DPH after an MOU is signed.

Can supplies be shipped directly to the individual schools within our district?

We can ship to either the district or the school. It is up to you. Please indicate your preference on the project enrollment form.

Are we able to purchase hand soap?

Yes. Hand soap, soap dispensers, sanitation pole stations, and sanitizer refills are all allowable purchases.

Can we purchase higher quality HVAC filters for the pre-existing units in our buildings?

Air quality improvement is a top priority. If you have specific requests beyond HEPA units, we may need to discuss this project further to ensure it is allowable.

We already purchased some gloves, can we purchase additional gloves or PPE, is that considered supplanting?

The non-supplant provision just means you are not purchasing items that are a part of normal operations. If you purchased 10 boxes of gloves in 2018 (i.e. pre-COVID-19) and in 2022 you want to purchase 200 boxes, 190 boxes are considered allowable.

Can we see the list of available items we may purchase through the project?

There is not a specific list of items. The focus is on air quality improvement so much of the funding may be used to provide HEPA units for your spaces. Remaining funds may be used for cleaning, sanitization, and PPE needs. We don’t endorse any particular products, but we try to work with our vendors to get the products you request as long as it’s allowable under the grant program.

Will the schools that are participating be contacted to order items?

We will contact the schools prior to ordering the items to ensure you are receiving what you want. The school will not have to order the items. IHLA will handle all ordering and shipping.

How soon will orders be placed?

The IHLA team will work with schools as quickly as possible to get items identified and orders placed once enrollment is complete. IHLA will be reaching out to schools in the order the enrollment form is received.

What items are allowed to be purchased under the COVID-19 Mitigation Project?
What is the average size of the HEPA units we will receive?

The HEPA unit size is based on the room size and occupancy numbers that the HEPA unit needs to accommodate. You can be involved in the unit selection process so that the units purchased are acceptable to your school.

What is the average cost of HEPA filters?

The HEPA filter cost will be determined by the unit that is chosen. The IHLA team can discuss the prices upon product consultation, so you are aware of any future costs.

How many HEPA units will be given for enrollment of a school system?

The IHLA team will work with your facility to provide as much support within the funds allocated. If additional funds are available after the first round of mitigation, DPH will work with GS to make additional support available to schools.

Do filter replacements qualify under this project funding?

Yes, we can help with filter replacements if they are supplied by a vendor we currently work with on this project.

Are the hand soap dispensers ordered directly from you?

The IHLA team will order items from vendors and have the items shipped to your school. However, if you have a specific brand or product you prefer, we will try to work with you to ship the items that work best for you. This is not a guarantee that you will receive the preferred item in all circumstances. Items selected may be subject to availability given supply chain shortages

Are items like sanitizing wipes or thermometers available under this program?

Yes, we will be as inclusive as possible. However, the IHLA team will have to ensure the products follow CDC guidelines and fit the categories for the acquirable items set forth by DPH.

Are laptop computers on the list of approved items?

As of right now, this product is not a key area of focus under this project.

Are Stop the Bleed Kits included?

Stop the Bleed Kits are offered through a separate program. Please e-mail covid-k12-testing@dph.ga.gov to find out more information and get routed to the appropriate public health district for assistance.

Is there a non-supplant provision under the Mitigation Project?

Yes. Funds made available under this project shall be used to provide schools with products associated with COVID-19 mitigation activities, not to provide products associated with normal operations. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic baseline usages can be used for documentation and comparison.

Are cleaning supplies allowable expenses under the Mitigation Project?

Yes, but please use your judgment as to whether the request is reasonable. The amount purchased is still subject to the non-supplant provision that does not permit the use of funds for normal operational costs. The bulk of your funds should not go to cleaning supplies. Pre-COVID-19 pandemic baseline usages can be used for documentation and comparison.

Important Dates 2022-2023

  • Deadline to enroll in the program with DPH = May 1, 2023
  • Last day testing can occur = July 31, 2023
  • Deadline to enroll in the mitigation project with GS = June 1, 2023

DPH Guidance and Resources

Administrative Orders

Isolation Guidance

Exposure Guidance

Do you have any questions about the project?
Please email ihla@georgiasouthern.edu or call 912.478.0302

Need Additional Assistance?

Are you interested in receiving additional in-depth support from the IHLA for the COVID-19 mitigation project in Georgia’s K-12 schools?

To better meet the needs of your school, IHLA put together a list of services we can provide to enhance COVID-19 mitigation processes and to help your school identify the best resources for COVID-19 mitigation funds. This service comes at NO COST to your school. The IHLA team is available to meet in-person or virtually, depending on the school preference and the type of service requested.

Please complete this short survey to request additional support from the IHLA.

 


Last updated: 1/10/2023