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Texas school districts stockpile PPE ahead of on-campus learning

Katy ISD showed off some of its personal protective equipment during a news conference on Tuesday.

KATY, Texas — There’s a good chance many of your kids are already masking up when they’re out of the house but it’ll be a requirement on campuses once in-person instruction resumes.

"In the effort to combat exposure and spreading of COVID-19, we’re utilizing PPE in the conduct of our daily operations at our campuses,” Katy ISD emergency management coordinator Ruben Martinez said.

Katy ISD showed off part of its massive stockpile of personal protective equipment Tuesday during a news conference. The items will be available to students and staff when some of them return to campuses next month.

"Disposable masks, non-disposable masks, face shields, thermometers, as well as hand wipes and hand sanitizer,” Martinez said.

According to the Texas Education Agency, more than 59 million masks have been distributed to school districts around the state so far.

That's in addition to more than 560,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 511,000 face shields and 24,000 thermometers.

Cy-Fair ISD, the state’s third-largest district, is also making sure people know how to properly wear face coverings. It produced a video showing that they should cover both your mouth and nose. CFISD has already received more than a million disposable masks.

Meanwhile, Houston ISD was allotted nearly two million masks based on its student population of more than 200,000.

Back in Katy, the district plans on tracking usage on individual campuses and will re-distribute or buy new supplies as needed.

"It’s a little bit about educating all of our community, our parents and our children, in order for us all to be safe at school,” Paetow High School principal Mindy Dickerson said.

Officials said this year will likely include a learning curve when it comes to keeping things safe.