School nurses issue guidance to PUSD families related to COVID-19

From a Friday, Mar. 20 email to the school community from Supt. Randall Booker. An important message from PUSD Nurses Carol Menz & Amy Jo Goldfarb:

As you are likely aware, the Bay Area is seeing an increase in numbers of citizens testing positive for COVID-19. As you are also likely aware, there is still a shortage in the number of tests available, and as a result they are primarily being reserved for people who are more seriously ill and in the hospital setting. Local healthcare providers are informing us that given the inability to test and confirm the diagnosis, people presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, respiratory compromise), should be assumed to have the virus, and should take the proper precautions, including self-isolation. Parents with family members showing symptoms of COVID-19 have concurred that this is the message that has been conveyed to them by their healthcare providers. 

Due to the manner and ease with which the COVID-19 virus is spread, the Alameda County Public Health Department believes the virus is spreading in our communities and we all have the potential of being exposed.  Per current protocol (directed by the Centers for Disease Control), anyone who is ill should stay home except to get medical care. If you are ill, it is recommended you separate from others in the home, wear a face mask, cover cough and sneezes, clean hands and surfaces often, and avoid the sharing of personal items. It is important to monitor symptoms for potential worsening, including shortness of breath. It should be emphasized that anyone experiencing symptoms should self-isolate and contact your doctor immediately and before presenting to their office. 
  
As testing becomes more readily available, many of us may learn that we have been exposed in various settings.  It is likely we will all know someone who has been impacted by COVID-19. As a result, and in the interests of maintaining confidentiality, the District will not be notifying the greater community each and every time there is a documented case of the disease within the schools.  At this point we have yet to receive notification of any documented cases within the PUSD community.

The District will continue to work closely with the Alameda County Office of Education and the Alameda County Public Health Department, and will follow any guidance/directives regarding notification to individuals/groups impacted, if and when they are received.

Following Governor Newsom’s executive order that Californians should “stay-at-home,” the District is urging all Piedmont residents and staff, including children, to remain at home, leaving only for essential needs.  Essential needs could include: healthcare, groceries, pharmacy, gas, banking, and exercise (provided it can be done outside while practicing social distancing). Group sports like basketball defeat the purpose of the stay-at-home mandate, and should be greatly discouraged. Piedmont’s Mayor Bob McBain reached out to all of Piedmont’s citizens urging them to comply with this directive in his letter this week.  PUSD campuses remain closed (even though gates remain unlocked) and we strongly encourage students to connect and collaborate with each other virtually during this time.  Please remember that by staying home for your family’s well-being, you are also helping to protect the healthcare providers on the front lines of this pandemic. 

We recognize and understand how concerning this information is. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you as we have additional information. For specific information on the COVID-19 virus, we recommend reviewing information from the following sources:


            
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
            
California Department of Public Health 
            
Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD)
            
California Labor and Workforce Development Guidance
            
California Employment Development Department/Labor Commission

As a community, we have all been preparing and working to slow the spread of COVID-19. With our schools continuing to be closed for at least the next few weeks, we are hopeful having students and families at home will reduce illness and help maintain the integrity of our healthcare system.

As we continue to monitor the health status of our school community, we are still asking families to contact their school sites on the regular attendance line to keep them informed when students are ill, and to share the nature of their illness (ie. flu/Influenza, common cold, COVID-19).  Should your child become so ill during the school closure that they cannot complete the provided activities, please call the attendance line at your respective school. Do not call the attendance line for any other reason.


Beach: (510) 594-2697

Havens: (510) 594-2824

Wildwood: (510) 594-2719

PMS: (510) 594-2663

PHS: (510) 594-2629

MHS: (510) 594-2703

These unprecedented times have called for unprecedented measures.  With Piedmont being the resourceful, caring community that it is, our hope is that if we work together we will come out of this pandemic with a stronger sense of who we are and what’s most important.

We wish your families health, safety and strength during these challenging times.


Randall Booker, Superintendent
Carol Menz, MSN, RN
Amy Jo Goldfarb BSN, RN


*If you have questions or concerns during this time, the District nurses, Carol Menz and Amy Jo Goldfarb, will continue to be available by telephone and email. They can be reached at 510-594-2751 or nurses@piedmont.k12.ca.us

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