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School nurses advocating for strict precautions as school year gets closer

HOUSTON – The National Association of School Nurses said they are continually developing guidance for school nurses this upcoming year but it's unclear what exactly their plan will look like.

Laurie Combe, president of the NASN, said each school needs to be consulting with their school nurse to develop plans that can ensure safety for everyone.

“When school nurses are setting plans for their schools and school community, they’re thinking beyond the walls of the school,” she said.

She says that includes:

  • Working to determine how much hand sanitizer and soap is needed to last the entire school year.
  • Evaluating where a student could be isolated if they were a presumptive case (in the clinic or somewhere else where students and staff don’t go).
  • Advocating for top of the line protection like N95 masks in the school clinics.

“We are healthcare providers and when dealing with people who have presumptive COVID-19, it’s recommended that you wear the highest level of protection. Particularly, if we have someone that we’re holding for a period of time until they’re picked up,” Combe said.

While the Texas Education Agency has pledged to have 75,000 disposable and reusable masks, there’s no indication they’re planning for N95s specifically.

We don’t know yet if schools will require temperature checks or other health screenings at the beginning of the school day, but the TEA has requested more than 42,000 thermometers.