SMITHS STATION, Ala. (WTVM) - Schools across the Chattahoochee Valley are opening up for in-person learning, including in Lee County.
School districts aren’t the only ones with safety precautions in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
When Jamari Brown gets home from school every day, he goes through a multi-step process to help keep coronavirus germs at bay. It’s a process that takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Using hand sanitizer and spraying down his backpack and shoes is now routine in the Lockhart household when Jamari, who is in fourth grade at South Smiths Station Elementary School, gets off the bus and walks through the front door every afternoon.
“I walk through that door right there. My nana, or my mom if she’s here, she’ll give me hand sanitizer and she’ll get my bookbag and spray it down, and then she’ll take of my shoes and spray my shoes down. And then, I’ll get in the shower and then put on some fresh clothes," Jamari explained.
Jamari’s mom, Talisha Lockhart, has an auto-immune disease. Lockhart said her dad, Jamari’s grandfather, has Parkinson’s. With both of Jamari’s parents back at work, his grandmother usually watches him after school.
“I didn’t want her to get sick and then contract it back to my dad or anything like that, or to me or my husband," said Lockhart. “So, I just started brainstorming what could be some ways that we could sanitize, what could we do to keep it in one central location in the house.”
Jamari has been back in the classroom for a week. At school, Jamari wears a mask except during lunch and PE.
“He surprised me and said that he wanted to go back to physical school, traditional school. He’s kind of an old spirit. He’s like the pen and paper type of guy, so he wanted that interaction back at school. He thought about it for a couple of days and decided to go back and we were all for it," Lockhart said.
“I get to see a lot of my new friends, new people, new teachers and stuff. And, I just like school and I missed my bus driver because he was nice," said Jamari.
Jamari’s dad, Ken Lockhart, said safety is his top priority. Jamari said their whole after school COVID-19 routine is just something he understands he has to do to help keep his family safe.