Guam high school students wear face masks and maintain a safe distance in the classroom. U.S. Navy photo by Shaina O'Neal Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools on Guam resumed in-classroom instruction, Oct. 26, with strict health protection guidelines in place for students, faculty and staff. "Protecting the health and safety of our service members, civilian personnel, and their families is one of our highest priorities," Rear Adm. John Menoni, Joint Region Marianas commander, said. "The team has taken deliberate steps and every foreseeable precaution to mitigate risks of Covid-19. This will be an ongoing commitment and effort to ensure we are taking care of one another as we safely return to the classrooms." Before returning to brick and mortar school, DoDEA staff and military leadership conducted a Covid-19 tabletop exercise on Oct. 1. During the exercise, DoDEA personnel and military partners practiced response actions in various scenarios, which helped to develop and evaluate plans to minimize Covid-19 risks.
As a result, mitigation measures that were put in place include, pre-screening protocols, which are completed at home each morning before students depart for school; changes in entry, exit and hallway traffic patterns; bathroom occupancy guidelines; personal and portable plastic barriers for every student and teacher; hand sanitizer stations, and requirements for face coverings, social distancing and good personal hygiene.