Nurses responding to coronavirus cases in Lincoln County schools

The district says 72 students and 16 staff members are in quarantine for 14 days because they were near two students and two staff members who have coronavirus.

Posted: Aug 10, 2020 7:57 PM
Updated: Aug 11, 2020 9:29 AM

We are hearing from Lincoln County School nurses who have had to call almost 100 people to tell them they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

The district says 72 students and 16 staff members are in quarantine for 14 days because they were near two students and two staff members who have coronavirus.

Not only do those four people need to quarantine, but nurses say the 84 people they came in contact with have to as well. Nurses in the district say calling all those people takes a toll.

"That's been a very difficult thing for the nurses. You have to tell a parent that 'I'm sorry, your child has come in contact with someone who has tested positive," said district nurse supervisor Carman Smith.

For nurses across Lincoln County Schools, the first week and a half back in the classroom has been stressful.

"It's difficult to tell a parent that your child could potentially become sick," said Smith.

After the district announced one student and one staff member tested positive at both South Lincoln and Flintville schools, nurses have been working nonstop.

"It's just something new that we have to get through, not even day by day, but minute by minute," said lead nurse, Judy Dodd.

Nurses say they are tasked with taking temperatures, evaluating students who show symptoms and helping with contact tracing...

"Even when we leave here we are thinking about it. What are we going to do with this child, what are we going to do with that one," said Dodd.

Judy Dodd is the district's lead nurse. She says she's seeing three to four students a day come to her with possible coronavirus symptoms at Lincoln County High School.

"It's not a huge number yet, but it's enough to be concerned," said Dodd.

Dodd says she knows she will most likely have to make more difficult phone calls to parents in the future and it's something she wishes she could prevent.

"It's frightening. I'm not going to try to sugar coat it. These kids, we see them every single day," said Dodd.

"They still have to comfort them, and make them understand what's happening, why they are being sent home, and like I said, they get very attached to their kids," said Smith.

The district tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton there's one nurse in each school, but if any of those nurses become sick, they will be sent home and then administrators would be in charge of evaluating students for Coronavirus.

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