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Polk County school cafeterias will look different to prevent COVID-19

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 17:57:46-04

BARTOW, Fla. — Preventing COVID-19 in the cafeteria is a challenge Florida schools are taking head on this August.

With class only weeks away, lunchrooms are now getting ready for students to come back.

Polk County’s Director of School Nutrition Jenna Kaczmarski tells ABC Action News they’ve had time to prepare.

Workers have been feeding the community since March when schools were released to online learning, enabling service members to enhance safety protocols.

According to Polk County Public Schools, each lunchroom will have designated entrances and exits. Decals will be used throughout the schools and the lunchroom to help kids spread out.

The nutrition director said they have had to get creative with when and how the students eat, as well.

“Many of them have expanded from three meal service to five to enable them to keep the majority of the students eating in the cafeteria but more spread out,” Kaczmarski said. “So some of them have nice outdoor eating spaces that are covered as long as the weather is OK. I’m sure some will end up eating in their classroom as well.”

All food will either be wrapped or covered with a lid. Disposable utensils will also be used.

The county also said wipe downs of all high-touch areas will also be performed in between each meal service.