UPDATE (Nov. 19): The call center will no longer be open on Saturdays beginning Dec. 1. Please see this link for details.
Polk County Public Schools and the Florida Department of Health-Polk have partnered to create a COVID-19 call center that opens Monday, Nov. 2.
The call center will be open from 12:30 to 8 p.m., seven days a week, except for school holidays. The phone number is 863-298-5206.
“The school district and the Florida Department of Health in Polk County have been great partners since the very beginning of the pandemic. Working together, we recognized that we could do more to communicate with our parents during this very uncertain time. We’re excited to make this service available to our community,” said Deputy Superintendent John Hill.
PCPS has partnered with Kelly Educational Services to staff the call center. Call center employees completed a training course developed by the school district and health department. They will be supervised by school district nurses.
Call center employees will answer general questions about COVID-19 and assist the health department with contract tracing phone calls as needed.
Prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year, PCPS developed communications protocols for schools that are impacted by COVID-19. A school is considered to have been impacted when even one person at the school, besides the person testing positive, must be quarantined.
The communications protocols include a schoolwide notification to families and staff members. Individuals who have come into close contact with the positive case are contacted separately to discuss their next steps.
“After the schoolwide notification is sent, schools receive numerous questions about testing and quarantining,” said Sherry Scott, PCPS’ director of student services, who helped to establish the call center.
“The call center will provide relief and support for our schools and parents. It will also provide the health department with another resource to assist with contract tracing. For parents, they now have a single phone number they can call for answers to their COVID-related questions. This is really a win-win for everyone involved.”
For more information on the school district’s COVID-19 response, visit polkschoolsfl.com/campus-learning-safety-protocols.