School Nurses Tasked With More Duties While Managing COVID Exposures

Wednesday, August 25th 2021, 5:16 pm
By: Augusta McDonnell

MOORE, Oklahoma -

The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced the highest number of pediatric hospitalizations yet with 66 pediatric patients. 

Health officials have expressed concerns about children being exposed to COVID in schools, as schools are reporting an increasing number of COVID positive cases. 

School nurses have their hands full. On top of their regular work, many are now tasked with contact-tracing and investigating COVID-related exposures. 

At Moore Public Schools, Superintendent Robert Romines considers nurses, teachers and staff to be frontline workers. 

He said that is because they are, daily, managing the risks of the pandemic.

“As they’re working through these cases, the positive cases and those types of things and contact tracing, they’re exhausted at the end of the day,” Romines said. 

Nurses at Moore are taking calls from parents, following up on positive cases, and contact tracing when someone with COVID has been at a Moore school’s site. 

“A nurse’s job, or role, looks very different than it did a couple of years ago, but fortunately, we’ve hired additional nurses that help combat with that,” Romines said. 

Moore Public Schools never went virtual or closed last year. The district used CARES Act money to fund a nurse position at every school to mitigate COVID exposures. 

“I don’t know if we could have made it through last year without them and again moving forward with this year,” Romines said. 

Schools districts across the metro are dealing with the ever-present threat of COVID.

Moore Public Schools reported 231 positive cases total as of Friday. 

At Oklahoma City Public Schools, positive cases among staff and students jumped from 118 on August 13 to 294 on August 20. 

At Mustang Public Schools, 82 active positive cases are reported as of Wednesday with 374 people currently in quarantine from exposures. 

Edmond Public Schools is reporting about 1% of district staff and students are positive for COVID and that’s 298 people. Almost 8% of the district's population are currently in quarantine. 

At Mid-Del Public Schools, 75 positive cases were reported last week.