Supporting Safe and Healthy Schools - Preparing for Illness

School Nurses and Covid-19 protocols

The Somerville Department of Public Health offers guidance regarding considerations, strategies, and rationale for making public health decisions. Their guidance provides school nurses and school staff with resources to implement effective prevention strategies. 

Working with school administrators, school nurses will continue to use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for sick people. The district has identified isolation rooms at each school to separate anyone who exhibits Covid-like symptoms. 

Somerville nurses will contact all parents with students on health plans and determine if they need to be revised to help minimize infection. Examples include examining the care of students with respiratory illnesses and the administration of nebulizer treatments. And also the revision of medication schedules to minimize the number of students in the nurse’s office at one time. 

School nurses will also play a critical role in community education. They can provide parent education about the importance of monitoring symptoms and staying home while ill through classroom applications and other district messaging. Nurses can ask about access to thermometers and consider implementing temperature checks for households who do not have one. And school nurses can support existing school outreach systems to provide reminders to staff and families to check for symptoms of household members in the morning and evening. 

Please see the SPS COVID-19 Operations Manual for COVID-19 protocols.

Medical Waiting Room/Isolation Room

Students that present Covid-19 symptoms while at school will be separated into a medical waiting room. A medical waiting room located near an entrance/exit to the building will be designated at each school site and will be separate from the nurse’s office to prevent other students visiting the nurse from coming in contact with the student presenting Covid-19 symptoms. Parents/caretakers will be notified and the student will remain in the medical waiting room where they will be monitored by a designated staff member until a parent/caretaker is able to pick them up. Staff monitoring the student and parents/guardians picking up the student will maintain a 6-foot distance and wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Students will not be allowed to ride the bus home. 

Administering Medication

If a school nurse needs to administer medication to a student, such as an inhaler, the student should be separated from the group and brought to the Nurses Office. Nurses will be wearing their face mask and goggles or a face shield while administering medication.