Managing COVID-19 in School Buildings

By Julianne Nava

School nurses explain how COVID-19 would upend logistics for caring for students who may be infected, and how schools need to readjust policies and clinics to manage the pandemic

As the 2020 school year approaches, communities are continuing to make decisions about the nature of public school in the time of COVID-19. Many schools are beginning the year with a fully online approach, where students may not see the inside of the classroom until the fall or beyond. However, the United States is currently still within the first wave of the Coronavirus, with spikes and the potential for new surges emerging as time goes on. Therefore, as public education stakeholders continue to work in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, we must consider all aspects of how to open and maintain a safe school environment over time and plan accordingly.

Not only are our public schools responsible for our students’ intellectual and emotional growth, they are also responsible for students’ physical health and safety, a responsibility that is in large part reliant upon the field of school health and profession of school nurses. I spent the last few weeks separately and informally interviewing a small group of school nurses in the Northern Virginia area about what issues they are facing.

Read the full report with specific recommendations from school nurses, "Managing COVID-19 in School Buildings."


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young girl in clinic getting throat culture