School Nurses Prepare for ‘Uphill Fight’ to Keep Students Safe From COVID-19


As more schools open across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are taking precautionary measures to keep students safe.

School nurses around the country want parents to know that they should expect their kids to be sent home more quickly if they feel sick during this global outbreak.

Nicole Cable, the nurse at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, said she had sent students back to class if they experienced a headache in the past. Cable said now, she might send them home due to the crisis happening across the U.S.

Before coronavirus, the nurse said a student with a headache, slight cough or fatigue would not raise concern in a school nurse’s office. However, nurses do have to be cautious during this year's fall school year.

Cable and other nurses across the country will face many challenges when it comes to keeping children and staff safe as schools resume operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s an uphill fight,” Cable said. “It’s one thing to say you have to physically distance in the classroom. It’s another thing to actually do it.”

Nurses at schools will be looking to see if students are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Recently, a handful of students at a Mississippi school tested positive for COVID-19, leading to more than 100 students in a school district quarantining roughly a week after in-person classes resumed.

Taylor Coombs, a spokesperson, said six students and one staff member at Corinth School District contracted the virus.

Coombs said they conducted contract-tracing and found that 116 students of the 2700 school population have been considered “in close contact” to someone who tested positive. Those individuals included anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more. They were sent home to quarantine for 14 days.

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