Who would have ever thought that this is the way the school year would start?! I hope your summer gave you some time to reset for the fall. I wanted to touch base on a few things that are different this year due to Covid. Because of the various symptoms associated with Covid, it is going to make navigating the school year a little more challenging. Please keep your child home if they have multiple symptoms (headache, fever, chills, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, achiness, diarrhea) or if they have a fever of 100.4 or new onset of a cough or shortness of breath. Please call me at school if your child is not coming to school due to having multiple symptoms. In order for your child to return to school after having multiple symptoms, he/she will need a doctor’s note. Thank you in advance, I know this is making things more complicated, but our goal is to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading this virus.
I would strongly suggest that you consider getting flu shots for everyone in your household this year helping to reduce the chances of getting at least one the many illnesses that float around in the winter.
“The Garrett County Health Department will offer flu vaccines by appointment only this season. There will not be mass clinics and walk-ins cannot be accommodated in order to comply with COVID-19 precautions.
It is anticipated that there will not be flu vaccinations given at public schools. Parents can schedule an appointment for their child through the health department or seek a vaccine from their doctor or pharmacy.
To schedule a flu vaccine at either the health department’s Oakland or Grantsville location, call 301-334-7697 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The department will have a limited number of appointments later in the day to accommodate people who need them.
Participants are asked to arrive a few minutes before their designated appointment time. All individuals must wear a face covering and observe social distancing of at least 6 feet. Hand sanitizer will be available.
Residents should call to reschedule an appointment if they are experiencing fever, cough, sore throat, sudden loss of taste or smell, unexplained fatigue or muscle aches or vomiting or diarrhea.
Clinics will not be held at senior meal sites, so people who usually receive their flu vaccine at those locations should schedule an appointment.
Residents should bring their medical insurance card to the appointment. For those who are uninsured or insurance does not cover flu vaccine, there will be no cost.
For more information, call 301 334-7770 or 301-895-3111.” Cumberland Times
A physical examination by a physician or certified nurse practitioner must be completed within nine months prior to entering the public school system or within six months after entering the system. A Physical Examination form designated by the Maryland State Department of Education may be used.
Evidence of blood testing is required for all students who reside in a designated at risk area when first entering Pre-kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st grade. The blood-lead testing certificate (DHMH 4620) or another written document signed by a Health Care Practitioner shall be used to meet this requirement (All of Garrett County is designated as an at risk area).
All students must meet the immunization requirements. Contact your nurse if your child has a bonafide religious objection or a permanent or temporary medical contraindication documented by your primary care provider. or have a signed exemption form to be enrolled in Garrett County Public Schools. Your child's school nurse will be able to answer any questions you might have.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN (3 year old and 4 year old):
- 4 Dtap
- 3 Polio
- 3 Hepatitis B
- 1 MMR
- 1 Hib
- 1 Prevnar
- 1 doses of Varicella or History of Chickenpox
- Must have a second dose of MMR and Varicella by age 5 to remain in school)
- 4 Dtap
- 3 Polio
- 3 Hepatitis B
- 2 MMR
- 2 Varicella or documented history of chickenpox
Please note that these 2 immunizations must be obtained prior to entering 7th grade in addition to the minimum vaccination requirements prior to entering Maryland Public Schools.
In general, the administration of medication to students while they are in the schools is to be discouraged. If a student must have medication while in school, treatment schedules which allow doses to be given at times other than during the school hours are preferred and encouraged. The medication must be provided to the school by the parent/guardian in the original container. The Medication Administration Form must be completed and signed by the parent/guardian and prescribing health care provider. This includes any prescription medications and over the counter medications. Inhalers for asthma, insulin for diabetes, and auto-injectors with epinephrine for severe allergic reactions are all considered EMERGENCY MEDICATIONS. These medications can be carried and self-administered by the student when appropriate and with authorization from the prescriber, parent, and school nurse.
Vision and hearing screenings are routinely provided to all students in grades Pre-K, K, 1st and 8th. Screening is also provided to new students and by those referred by a teacher or a parent/guardian. If your child should show abnormal results, a letter of notification will be sent home with referral recommendations.
In the case of an emergency at school, the parent or guardian will be notified. If the parent/guardian cannot be reached, the emergency contact will be notified. Be sure to provide accurate and updated contact information. Changes/updates can be made by emailing or calling the school. If an emergency situation should arise and emergency medical services are needed, 911 will be called. Any and all measures will be taken to support the health and safety of the student.
Please notify the school nurse immediately of any medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, seizures or life threatening allergies to such things as peanuts, other foods, insect bites or medications, which may cause an emergency situation with your child. Please provide the EpiPen and/or inhaler if ordered. The school nurse will work with you to develop a Health Care Plan to meet your child's health needs.
When your child is sick……
School attendance is important but there are times that your child may need to stay at home. The following is a guideline that may help with making this decision should it become necessary.
- Sore throat; unable to swallow with swollen, painful neck glands
- Fever - a measured temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Headache plus one other symptom
- Rash, unexplained
- Flushed face, especially cheeks
- Runny nose with thick white or greenish mucous
- Severe cough, persistent enough to be disruptive or that causes vomiting
- Vomiting: 2 episodes in 24hrs. (If sick through the night, stay home.)
- Reddened eye/s with discharge (pus)
- Asthmatics who: Have a respiratory infection, fever over 100 degrees, wheezing or coughing that does not get better one hour after taking medication, weakness or fatigue that makes daily activities difficult, or breathing difficulty.
Please feel free to consult the nurse by phone or email in the morning if you are unsure about keeping your child home.
Cold vs. flu table
|Signs and Symptoms
|Chest discomfort, cough
||Mild to moderate
During the flu season, if you would like your child or other family members to receive a flu vaccine, please contact your primary care physician. Other possibilities for receiving the vaccine are through the flu clinics our local health department offers throughout the fall, and most pharmacies and urgent care facilities. Always call first to verify ability and acceptance of your health insurance
If you or your child experiences flu symptoms, contact your family doctor immediately. There are medications that may shorten the course and severity of the illness.
Remember, your best protection from illness is to wash your hands frequently. If your child’s illness requires a doctor’s visit remember to get an excuse, otherwise please send a parent note to accompany your child when he/she returns to school. If your child is displaying symptoms of illness please keep him/her home, this allows your child to recover in the comfort of their home and helps to prevent the spread of illness to other classmates.