Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific and local military leaders conducted a COVID-19 tabletop exercise at Cmdr. William C. McCool Elementary and Middle School, Santa Rita, Guam, Oct. 1, 2020.
The exercise was designed to put DODEA staff and military partners through a series of scenarios that could occur when Guam DODEA schools reopen for classroom learning.
“We discussed the various steps required to safely and quickly respond to possible COVID-19 hazards at DODEA schools of Guam,” Tiana Guerrero, joint region Marianas emergency management planner, said. “It was important to determine gaps or shortfalls in the plan and take action to remedy them prior to schools reopening. The scenarios we discussed can easily turn into real-world situations, and by preparing now, we can better handle unknown variables before they occur.”
We thank our military partners and DODEA leadership for their continued guidance and direction in planning.”
Gail Wiley, superintendent, Department of Defense Education Activity Guam community
Participants worked through practice scenarios, discussing roles and responsibilities and documenting questions and concerns in order to develop and evaluate plans for responding to potential COVID-19 vectors into DODEA schools.
“The training went very well,” Navy Lt. Joshua Owens, U.S. Naval Base Guam emergency operations center director, said. “We were able to take positive steps forward to be prepared for the real world situations and respond appropriately. We fleshed out any concerns we had and identified areas where we can continue to improve.”
DODEA and military officials will evaluate the possibility of restarting classroom learning by continuing to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 cases islandwide as well as school safety and response plans.
“Our military counterparts have been very supportive of DODEA,” Gail Wiley, DODEA Guam community superintendent, said. “We thank our military partners and DODEA leadership for their continued guidance and direction in planning.”
(Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class MacAdam Weissman is assigned to Joint Region Marianas).