MDPH/DESE Updates

PENTUCKET NURSES SHARE COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

PENTUCKET NURSES SHARE COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR THE HOLIDAYS Even though the holiday season has passed, this incredible message released by the school nurses of Pentucket is still applicable. The School District's nurses have come together to create a video sharing health and safety guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 this holiday season. You can watch the video here. As well as read the full story here.

2/04/2021 MDPH School Health Unit Update

Greetings from the School Health Unit!   I am a big fan of author Glennon Doyle and follow her on social media.  This week she posted the following, which made me smile and nod in agreement:   “A journalist once asked me, ‘with the onslaught of bad news and endless needs-how do you not quit?’  I said: ‘Oh I do quit!  Quitting is my favorite.  Every day I quit.  Every single day.’ I wake up and I care the most amount.  And then- at some point- I put it all away and melt into my people and my couch and food and nothingness.  And I care not at all.  I forget it all.  Then I go to sleep and wake up and begin again.  Begin and quit every day!  Only way to survive.”   I don’t know about you, but I can totally handle caring the most (and then quitting) ONE DAY AT A TIME : )   With great admiration for all you are doing every day, Karen ****************************************************************************************************   Speaking of... More

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FRAMINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOL NURSE PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE

FRAMINGHAM PUBLIC SCHOOL NURSE PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE School nurses, including this team from Framingham Public Schools, are giving up some of their personal time to work at vaccination sites, as they continue to play a crucial role in helping districts navigate the Covid-19 Pandemic.

1/27/2021 MDPH School Health Unit Update

Greetings from the School Health Unit!   School Health Unit staff and Regional Consultants have received many questions from school health staff and athletic directors/trainers around athletics and return to play after a COVID-19 infection.  As you may be aware, infection may have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, and thus the MA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends athletes should be cleared by their provider before return to play.  The MCAAP has recently updated it's guidance on this topic and it can be found here.   I hope you find this helpful, Karen   Karen Robitaille, MBA, MSN, RN, NCSN <she, her, hers> Director of School Health Services Division of Child/Adolescent Health and Reproductive Health Massachusetts Department of Public Health 250 Washington St. 5th floor, Boston, MA 02108 karen.robitaille3@mass.gov cell 781-675-0463 Personal Webex room: https://statema.webex.com/meet/Karen.Robitaille3

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1/15/21 MDPH School Health Unit Update: Influenza Vaccine

IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR SCHOOL NURSES RE INFLUENZA VACCINE REQUIREMENT Greetings from the School Health Unit; The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is removing the requirement for flu vaccination for attendance in childcare/preschool, primary, secondary and postsecondary education.  Preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19.   Given the intensive Commonwealth-wide efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccination, DPH wants to alleviate the burden to obtain flu vaccination and focus on continuing our COVID -19 vaccination efforts. DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age six months and older receive their seasonal flu vaccine each year. The updated schedule can be found here. Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the young people and families of our Commonwealth, Karen Karen Robitaille, MBA, MSN, RN, NCSN <she, her, hers> Director of School Health Services Division of Child/Adolescent Health and Reproductive Health Massachusetts Department of Public Health 250 Washington... More

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1/15/21 MDPH School Health Unit Update

Good morning; The MDPH website COVID-19 vaccine locations for individuals currently eligible to be vaccinated has been updated this afternoon with information on open vaccination sites, as well as credentials needed to access vaccination at these sites.  If you are a school nurse conducting testing or assisting in vaccination clinics, you may be vaccinated as a COVID-facing healthcare worker at either a local clinic or a statewide or regional vaccination site with the following credentials: COVID facing health care workers Please bring one of the following forms of ID: For licensed health care professionals, current Massachusetts professional license Employer-issued photo ID card that includes your name and title Letter from employer stating you are a current employee AND state photo identification or license Recent pay stub AND a state photo identification or license Respectfully, Karen Karen Robitaille, MBA, MSN, RN, NCSN <she, her, hers> Director of School Health Services Division of Child/Adolescent Health and Reproductive Health Massachusetts Department of Public Health 250 Washington St. 5th floor, Boston, MA 02108 karen.robitaille2@state.ma.us cell 781-675-0463 Personal Webex room: https://statema.webex.com/meet/Karen.Robitaille3

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1/14/21 MDPH School Health Unit Update

Greetings from the School Health Unit! You have all been in the forefront of my mind as vaccine has begun to roll out, and testing in schools expanded.  I have heard from so many of you, as have the Regional School Nurse Consultants, since the start of the New Year, and I hope that every single one of you had your call or email returned, and that you felt HEARD.  If that is ever not the case, I want to know. So, when I am feeling my feelings, I often turn to my favorite feelings person, Brenè Brown.  She has two podcasts running, “Unlocking Us” and “Dare to Lead”.  Her latest episode in “Unlocking Us” was exactly what I needed to hear this week.  I have been feeling like someone is poking holes in my brain, and information I had stored there (that I NEEDED thank you very much) has leaked out without my noticing.  Do you know what I mean?  In... More

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1/08/21 MDPH School Health Unit Update

Greetings from the School Health Unit! I know you are all on post-vacation overload and I have already communicated with you three times this week (good gravy!), but I wanted to pass along some important information as soon as possible.  I also want to take the opportunity to remind everyone that School Health Unit staff and the School Nurse Regional Consultants are receiving more emails and calls than ever, and the volume is approaching an untenable level.  Please be patient with our responses and realize that none of us can make decisions for your school, district, or municipality; we can only refer you back to existing guidance. With gratitude and respect, Karen Vaccination Updates On the LBOH call today, Assistant Commissioner Jana Ferguson confirmed that school nursing staff who are implementing testing programs in schools, or who are assisting in vaccination clinics, may access COVID-19 vaccination NOW through local health departments, where local health departments are running such clinics.  If your local health department is not... More

12/08/20 MDPH School Health Unit Update

Greetings from the School Health Unit! Our first BinaxNOW training is filling up, but please remember that you will be unregistered if you are not on the DESE list as having test kits shipped.  You can check in with whomever in your district is designated to receive communications from DESE in this regard to make sure that test kits are on their way to you.  We will have the schedule for next week's trainings out to you by the end of this week. A reminder that our December state CSHS meeting is this Thursday from 1 to 3pm and you can register for it here. Our Clinical Update recordings are now available here on the BU SHIELD website! DESE is updating their protocols in regards to quarantine for close contacts, in response to updated information from MDPH and the CDC, and we will get you that information as soon as it is released. You are all in my thoughts every single minute as we navigate the increase in... More

12/7 MDPH School Health Unit Update: Phase 1 BINAX ; training registration

Greetings from the School Health Unit! We will hold our first session of a train-the-trainer for administration of the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test this coming Friday, December 11 from 1-3 pm.  Our first session will be capped at 15 participants, and ONLY those School Nurses who have their BinaxNOW test kits may participate.  If you are able, you may participate with a nursing colleague so you can practice swabbing one another.  This will require that you have the appropriate PPE available, we will have you “don" your PPE to conduct swabbing, perform the swab and BinaxNOW test and then “doff” your PPE.  You may also choose to demonstrate anterior nasal swabbing on yourself as an alternative. The training will consist of an approximately 30 minute presentation by Abbott staff, followed by an anterior nasal swabbing demonstration by the MDPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences Sr. Public Health Nursing Advisor, and concluding with school nurses performing an anterior nasal swab return demonstration and performing the point of care test with the BinaxNOW card.  Please allow for the full scheduled time period of the... More