How local schools are fighting coronavirus with goggles

Schools donating protective eye-wear to nearby hospitals

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Central Florida schools are stepping up with an unlikely weapon to help local medical professionals protect themselves against the coronavirus.

School leaders learned that area-hospitals are in dire need of lab-style goggles. Since students aren’t in the classroom, schools are donating their goggle supplies to medical centers.

“The specific goggles they need are the old-style kind,” Trent Daniel, principal of Oviedo High School said. “A lot of the high schools and middles schools own these goggles.”

She said her school was contacted by Nemours Children’s Hospital because their staff is in need of protective eyewear. The next day, she donated 100 goggles used for science classes.

After Daniel posted on Twitter encouraging other schools to do the same, Trinity Preparatory school in Winter Park also stepped in to help.

“They’re just sitting here, we don’t have students in class and I feel like we need to support our local hospitals and caretakers,” Daniel said.

For Dr. Thomas Lacy, Division Chief of Nemours Children's Health System, their donations are keeping staff and patients safe.

“We didn’t have enough. These goggles are in short supply around the country, you can’t order enough of them right now,” Lacy said. “Respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, can be transmitted through the eyes so we have them wearing goggles when they’re close to a patient right now.”

Lacy says they haven’t seen an increase of kids going into the hospital and out-patient clinics for treatment because social distancing is helping. He stressed kids with a runny nose or a slight cough don’t need to see a doctor-- unless their conditions change.

“Coughing a lot, lethargic, not active, their breathing is getting worse-- those children need to get evaluated,” Lacy said. He also emphasized the importance of keeping clean hands at all times.

"Hand washing is crucial to not spread infection. Hand sanitizer is great but good 'ol soap and water kills viruses," he said.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, principal Daniel hopes other schools will do their part in the fight against the deadly virus.

“I say to all my colleagues give up whatever goggles you have, that’s a small part that we can do," he said.

"We can always order more next year and when school starts again, no big deal. Let’s support our health care workers.”

About the Author: