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Hillsborough County Public Schools Announces Innovative Partnership with Tampa General Hospital and USF Health to Prepare for the Start of the 2020-21 School Year

July 15, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja or Erin Maloney
Office of Communications
813-272-4060

The Superintendent also announces he will be recommending to the School Board a delay to the start of the school year for students. This recommendation will need to be approved by the School Board along with collaboration with HCTA.

Tampa, Fl. (July 15, 2020) – Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) today announced a new collaboration with Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and USF Health to assist the school district in its 2020-21 reopening strategy. This partnership will include a review of all school, student, teacher, staff, visitor, and transportation plans to ensure all safety measures are under consideration and opportunities to educate the public exist before the start of the 2020-21 school year.

“This school year presents unprecedented challenges because of COVID-19, and we’re so pleased that two of the area’s preeminent medical institutions have agreed to collaborate with us to provide the safest back-to-school environment possible,” said Superintendent Addison Davis. “The unpredictability of this virus makes the recommendations and expertise from medical experts invaluable for HCPS as we look to reopen our doors carefully to our students, teachers, and staff. We look forward to collaborating with them to clarify safety procedures and actively communicate expectations prior to the start of a new school year.”

This new service, known as TPRO, will allow businesses, attractions and other organizations to benefit from the advice of some of Florida’s top infection prevention experts, including leaders of the hospital’s Infection Prevention team and Infectious Disease physicians from the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

“Tampa General Hospital and USF Health are pleased to partner with Hillsborough Schools. The health, safety and well-being of our teachers, students and community remains on the forefront of our minds as we start the school year off on a new normal,” said John Couris, President & CEO of Tampa General Hospital. “Our TGH Prevention Response Outreach is a new service that offers expertise in infection prevention to organizations in Tampa Bay and beyond. Our medical experts will be available to review plans, educate the community about why certain decisions are needed to protect our school-based populations and assist in developing reopening protocols.”

Additionally, based on ongoing medical consultations, Superintendent Davis will be recommending to the School Board to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year for students by two weeks, beginning on August 24th. This recommendation will need to be approved by the School Board along with collaboration with HCTA. Superintendent Davis will present his School Reopening Plan on Thursday at 1p.m., during the School Board Workshop. It will be held in the board auditorium at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa.

“One lesson the pandemic has taught the global community is that our plans must be fluid to ensure the best outcomes for our individual communities,” added Davis. “We recognize that we need to be listening to experts around timelines and continue to look at our strategies and calendars into the school year to adjust for the changes this virus presents.”

To learn more about the collaboration and the new 2020-2021 anticipated start date of Aug. 24, 2020, visit https://youtu.be/sUdBHCDBpW4

If you would like to learn more about TPRO please call (813) 660-TPRO.

ABOUT HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Hillsborough County Public Schools is America’s seventh-largest school district and the largest in central Florida. The district has more than 230 public schools, more than 24,000 dedicated employees and more than 225,000 students. Our teachers and leaders have helped our students boost their graduation rate to 86.2 percent, a district record, in the 2018-19 academic year. Our high schools were highlighted in the recent U.S. News & World Report’s Best High Schools list placing Hillsborough County high schools in seven of the top 10 positions. Hillsborough County Public Schools has been recognized as part of Forbes’ annual list of Best Employers for Diversity for promoting a welcoming and supportive environment that celebrates and values diversity and respect for all students and our employees

ABOUT TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL
Tampa General Hospital, a 1006-bed non-profit academic medical center, delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center and its 32-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of Florida. It also is home to an 82-bed Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health and 15 outpatient Radiology Centers. Tampa Bay residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in Florida, Tampa General Hospital is first in the state to open a command center in partnership with GE Healthcare. For more information, go to~www.tgh.org.

ABOUT USF HEALTH
USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialty physicians group. The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit health.usf.edu

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