Every Alhambra School Health Office will operate differently due to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents should review the information below to learn how the School Health Office will care for students and to better understand their role as we partner to safeguard the health of our community.
Symptom Screening at Home
Children WITH COVID-19 symptoms, or children who have tested positive for COVID-19, or students with family/household members isolating for COVID-19 MUST stay home.
All children should be checked for COVID-19 symptoms at home daily before leaving for school (refer to the Symptom Screenings poster). Children with COVID-19 symptoms --even MILD symptoms--should stay home.
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms during your daily home symptom screen, please contact your school to report their absence. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you keep your student home if they are sick, and you report the reason for their absence. Please leave a voicemail on your school’s attendance line or call the office or school nurse directly. You will receive a return call to discuss when your student may return to school.
Symptom Screenings at School
All students will be screened at school daily before entering classrooms. Students complaining of any of the COVID-19 symptoms will be sent to the isolation room, and parents/guardians will be contacted to pick up their child.
Research shows that children often have mild illness when sick with COVID-19. Because of this, any complaint, even minor, will result in the student being sent home for the day. The student will be able to return to school when cleared by the school nurse. Nurses will be following the release from isolation guidance from Maricopa County Department of Public Health and Arizona Department of Health Services.
Parents who receive a call from school that their child needs to be picked up due to illness are expected to arrive within 1 hour. If parents expect they may be unavailable, they must have someone else available to pick up their child. Updated emergency contact lists are required. It would be wise to include adults who are at low risk for COVID-19 complications on all emergency contact lists.
School health staff will give parents and guardians of students sent home a letter detailing return-to-school options and dates. You can read a copy of this letter in English or a copy of this letter in Spanish here.
The school health office is an area of higher risk for a COVID-19 exposure. Schools will be establishing an isolation room to reduce exposure risk for healthy students. The need to separate healthy students from students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms has caused us to adjust a few of our normal practices. Please see the section below for more information.
Breathing Treatments (Small Volume Nebulizer Treatments) and Asthma
The Allergy and Asthma Network is currently directing schools to avoid nebulizer treatments as they can aerosolize the COVID-19 virus (put it in the air). The Alhambra Elementary School District will not be providing nebulizing (SVN) treatments at school during the pandemic unless this guidance changes. Please contact your child’s doctor to discuss alternate treatment plans using metered-dose inhalers (MDIs).
Diabetes Treatment at School
School nurses will work with parents to develop a safe care plan for children with diabetes. The goal of this plan is to reduce the number of health office visits because this reduces the students risk of exposure. Plans will NOT include having students eat lunch in the health office and will involve designating other school adults to assist in the care of children with diabetes. Parents may want to consider having their diabetic child eat breakfast and take their morning insulin at home to assist in reducing the number of health office visits needed.
Recognizing that the school health office is an area of higher risk for a COVID-19 exposure, the fewer visits by students to the health office lowers their risk of an exposure.
First Aid at School
School nurses will work with teachers and school staff to ensure that minor health issues are addressed and first aid is provided away from the health office to reduce as much potential student exposure to COVID-19 as possible. Staff will be trained to follow the “When to See the Nurse -- Guide for Teachers” document and will be provided the necessary supplies.. The health office will always be available to support serious injuries, illnesses or emergencies.
Prescription Medication at School
All morning doses of prescription medication must be administered at home. There will be NO regularly scheduled early morning medications or procedures.
The health offices will devote the morning hours to screening, assessing, and processing COVID-symptom students and will put healthy students, who only need medication, at risk. Only health emergencies or unexpected needs will be treated until mid-morning when students with COVID-19 symptoms have left campus. Parents will be expected to administer morning medications at home.