School Nurses Vaccinated to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus
January 15, 2021 - Livermore, CA - Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) is one step closer to reopening readiness as school nurses lined up for their first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on January 13, 2021.
“Several of the school nurses took advantage of a unique opportunity offered to Alameda County healthcare workers and received our first dose of the vaccine this week. Our hope is that when more doses are released (in the next phase) we will be ready to help vaccinate school staff to protect against COVID-19. This is yet another tool in our toolbelt as we look towards the safe reopening of our schools,” stated LVJUSD COVID-19 Liaison, Carolyn Reggiardo, MSN, RN, BSN, PHN. Along with Reggiardo, school nurses Catherine Arthur, Shelley Casey, and Julie Howard also stood in line and received their vaccine.
Superintendent Kelly Bowers said, “It is critically important that our school nurses be vaccinated, as they are specially trained and certified to assess staff and students for COVID-19, conduct contact tracing, administer our COVID screening tests, and eventually administer vaccines to employees. We are relying on them heavily during this pandemic and we need them to stay healthy in order for our students and staff to stay healthy.
As of January 13, 2021, nearly 1,000,000 people have received the vaccine during Phase 1A of the rollout. This phase includes healthcare workers, individuals age 65 and older, and long-term care residents. Phase 1B will expand to include those at risk for exposure in education and childcare, emergency services and food and agriculture.
LVJUSD is taking the steps necessary for reopening readiness per guidelines set by the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE). In December 2020, LVJUSD submitted and received approval of their school reopening plan by the ACOE, but due to increased restrictions by the Alameda County Public Health Department, any plan for reopening had to be placed on hold. Still in the purple tier, the LVJUSD cannot reopen until the county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks, and additionally has fulfilled all of the ACOE requirements.
“I am so grateful to our school nurses for their leadership and support throughout the pandemic. Knowing they are first in line for the vaccine gives me confidence that we will be able to return to on-campus teaching in the near future,” said Bowers.