Opinion: School nurses thank community for actions taken to stop spread of COVID-19
To our community:
We are the school nurses of Routt County. We have always poured our hearts and souls into keeping the children of Routt County healthy and educated. For the past year, it has been amplified unimaginably. We have not made easy decisions, and we have made even more difficult phone calls. We love our hallways filled with students — schools filled with laughter, questions and growing. School nurses have chosen this profession to be with our students.
We meet every week representing every school in Routt County and work tirelessly with the Routt County Public Health team to have consistent choices and messaging in a time where change is in hyper speed. We discuss the heartbreaks of our students virtually learning, missing in-person activities, athletics and the “normal” school experience. We strategize for students we are concerned about at home or parents who are threatening our jobs because they don’t agree with the quarantine orders.
We promise that in choosing the profession of school nursing, this is not what we ever signed up to do. We have made a commitment, though, to the health and wellness of every student in this community.
Never before have we shared and talked so much as a specialty. Never before have we collaborated on resolution for the Routt County students as a whole. Never before have we celebrated successes together and shed tears to each other, because we just get it.
We, as the school nurses of Routt County, write this to tell you that your actions matter. We appreciate every day that we have students in our buildings. We celebrate every week that we don’t see outbreaks and mass spread. We have a new definition of exhausted after we are notified of a positive case in our school where we are excusing students out of their classes, calling parents, identifying close contacts, alerting staff, notifying the county, pivoting our school to remote and many other behind-the-scenes hours we never knew could exist.
We thank you for adhering to the Routt County commitments. These choices as a community impact the children of Routt County. These commitments have also nearly eradicated the constant runny noses, spread of other communicable diseases and general unwellness of students year-round. We are in the last third of the school year. We ask that, as a community, we all stay diligent. We have been fortunate that Routt County has not had substantial dire impacts from COVID-19.
Know that your choices matter and that we appreciate your commitment. We have stepped up to this task to keep future generations learning, our teachers doing what they do best and parents working to keep our community going. We work every day to keep this momentum going, but we can’t do it without all of you and your commitment to this same goal.
Stay masked, stay apart, wash your hands and stay home if you don’t feel well.
Anna Davis, Cathy LaPointe, Diane Letson, Cindy Meade, Patty Oakland, & Carol Twitchell
School nurses of Routt County
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