MPCSD Nurses Care

COVID-19 Myth Busters!

Myth: Face masks can protect you from the virus

Standard surgical and cloth masks cannot protect you from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, because they are not designed to block out viral particles and do not fit snugly to a person's face. Surgical and cloth masks do, however, help prevent infected people from spreading the virus further by blocking any respiratory droplets that could be expelled from their mouths. FACT: wearing a mask saves lives.

Myth: Pets can spread the new coronavirus

Probably not to humans. One dog in China contracted a "low-level infection" from its owner, who had a confirmed case of COVID-19, meaning dogs may be vulnerable to picking up the virus from people. The infected dog did not show any symptoms of disease, and no evidence suggests that the animal could have passed the virus onto a human (Live Science, March 2020).

To see more Myth Busters, visit the World Health Organization website.

San Mateo County Issues Face Covering Order

The new order, which was issued by the San Mateo County Health Officer in conjunction with other Bay Area counties, became effective April 17, 2020 and enforceable as of 8:00am on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

What does this mean for you and your family? This order requires residents to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering, such as a bandana, scarf, towel, or other piece of cloth or fabric, when leaving home in many situations. These include doctor appointments, grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, and riding on public transit, among others.

Why is it Important to Wear a Face Covering?

In addition to coming into contact with a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, we have also learned that COVID-19 can be spread by people who may not be showing any symptoms at all. Therefore, cloth face coverings, when combined with physical distancing and hand washing, may prevent the spread of the virus to others when going outside for essential activities.

It is important to keep in mind that covering your face is about helping others and doing all that you can to help your community stay safe and healthy (find more details at SMC face covering order).

Valves or No Valves?

Valve masks are a type of N95 mask that have a one-way valve allowing exhaled air to pass through a small round or square filter disc attached to the front. Some commercially available cloth masks also feature a valve.

Valve masks have several benefits. In addition to protecting the wearer if fitted correctly, they allow easier exhalation than traditional masks, prevent humidity and and reduce uncomfortable heat and carbon dioxide buildup inside the mask.

Even though valve masks adequately protect the wearer, they fall short because of the valve design which only filters air breathed in, but not the air breathed out. These types of masks with valves are NOT acceptable face coverings for use by students and staff while at school.

The purpose of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's universal masking guidelines is to prevent viral transmission from infected individuals to people around them. Exhaled air passes unfiltered into the environment, taking potential coronavirus droplets with it and defeating the mask's one important purpose -- protecting those around you.


When is a Face Covering NOT Required?

According to the San Mateo County Health Officer, you are not required to wear a mask in the following situations:

  • At home.

  • In your car alone or solely with members of your household.

  • Exercising outdoors, like walking, hiking, bicycling, or running. However people are recommended to have a face covering with them and readily accessible when exercising, even if they’re not wearing it at that moment.

According to the San Mateo County Health Officer's order on May 19, 2020, any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is NOT a Face Covering under this Order and is not to be used to comply with this Order’s requirements. Valves of that type permit droplet release from the mask, putting others nearby at risk.

How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask

When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Here are some do's and don'ts.

How to Wear

Wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection.

  • Be sure to wash your hands before putting on a mask

  • Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it

DO wear a mask that

  • Covers your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin

  • Fits snugly against the sides of your face

For more information, visit the CDC How to Wear Masks web page.

How to Clean

Masks should be washed regularly. Always remove masks correctly and wash your hands after handling or touching a used mask.

  • Include your mask with your regular laundry

  • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the mask

  • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry

For more information, visit the CDC How to Wash Masks web page.

Are You Crafty? Do You Like to Sew? We Could Use Your Help!

Although wearing face masks "hide" most of our faces, making it difficult to tell when a person is smiling, frowning or even smirking, we are still able to communicate with others. But what if your ability to communicate effectively depended on whether or not you could see a person's lips move? This is precisely the challenge that is facing our deaf and hearing impaired community. The companies that make specialty masks with clear panels are few and have completely sold out, making it unlikely we will have these masks available for our students and staff who rely on them to learn and teach.

MPCSD is asking for the community's help in making these types of masks to help our deaf and hearing impaired individuals and their teachers. The masks would need to have a clear panel (usually a clear, overhead projector transparency works well) that makes it easy to see both the upper and lower lips when a person is wearing the mask. I found this quick and easy You Tube video that may help guide you.

We are also accepting donations of regular cloth masks. We have received over 100 homemade cloth masks so far. Thank you parents! If you would like to donate homemade or new (no used masks please) masks, please drop them off at the District Office between 10am and 3pm. Address your donation to Lianne Jemelian, School Nurse.

Thank you!

  • FREE Pattern -
  • 2 - 6"x10" rectangles of cotton fabric
  • 1 - 6"x5" rectangle of 4 clear gauge vinyl (can use overhead projector transparencies)
  • 1 - 40" of rick-rack or mask ties (or elastic)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine, glue gun, or sew by hand

*Watch this You Tube Video for the quick and easy DIY project.

It's Heating Up!

The sun is out, the weather is warmer, the flowers are blooming...before you rush outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, check out the following first aid tips for some common problems from having too much fun in the sun!

Bee Stings

Most people run away from bees, but let's not forget that bees are the world's most important pollinators; responsible for pollinating over a third of the food we eat. Bees become more active in the Spring with the warm weather and flowers blooming, so it is inevitable that you will run into a bee while playing outside. Most of the time, a bee sting is just a nuisance. You may experience temporary pain, swelling, redness, warmth, and itching at the sting site, but most will have no serious complications. If you're allergic to bees, or you get stung multiple times, bee stings can be life-threatening.

Most often, bee sting symptoms are minor and include:

  • Instant, sharp burning pain at the sting site

  • A red welt at the sting area

  • Slight swelling around the sting area

The swelling and pain usually go away within a few hours. Basic first aid should include:

  • removing the stinger as soon as possible, such as by scraping it off with a fingernail or credit card. Don't use tweezers or try to remove a stinger below the skin surface. A stinger may not be present, as only bees leave their stingers. Other stinging insects, such as wasps, do not.

  • Wash the sting area with soap and water.

  • Apply a cold compress/ice pack.

Moderate reactions to bee stings can lead to more extreme redness at the sting site, along with swelling that can take several days to resolve. First aid for moderate reactions should include the same treatment as minor stings in addition to:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as needed.

  • If the sting is on an arm or leg, elevate it.

  • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to ease redness, itching or swelling.

  • If itching or swelling is bothersome, take an oral antihistamine that contains diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

  • Avoid scratching the sting area. This will worsen itching and swelling and increase your risk of infection.

If you have a known severe allergy to bee, wasp, or yellow jacket venom, you should carry a bee sting kit with you when you’re spending time outdoors. This contains a medication called epinephrine, which treats anaphylaxis — a severe allergic reaction that could be life threatening. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:

  • Skin rashes and itching and hives.

  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat.

  • Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing (whistling sound during breathing)

  • Dizziness and/or fainting.

  • Stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

  • Feeling like something awful is about to happen.

Anaphylaxis requires an injection of epinephrine and a follow-up trip to an emergency room. If you don't have epinephrine, you need to go to an emergency room immediately. If anaphylaxis isn't treated right away, it can be fatal.


Overexposure to the sun, even when its overcast, can cause sunburn. Sunburn can be prevented by taking preventative measures (see Nurse Krystina's video on Sun Safety) such as wearing protective clothing or using sunscreen. Here are a few simple things you can do for a sunburn:

  1. Take a cool bath or shower

  2. Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to soothe the skin.

  3. If the sunburn is painful, you can take ibuprofen to help decrease swelling, redness and discomfort

  4. If blistering occurs (2nd degree burn), wear very light clothing over skin and allow blisters to heal. Do NOT pop blisters!

  5. Continue to wear light clothing to cover skin when going outdoors. Try to sit in the shade when possible.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion develops gradually when your body loses too much water and salt due to excessive sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion are: headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea and loss of appetite, sweating with pale, clammy skin, cramps in the arms, legs or abdomen and a fast, weakening pulse. Here is what you can do:

  1. Move the person to a cool, shady place and have them lie down with their legs raised (on a bag or log)

  2. Remove or loosen tight clothing

  3. Give the person water or sports drinks (to replace lost salt)

  4. Use cooling measures such as fans or cold towels.

  5. If the person's condition does not improve, seek medical help.


Many of us are guilty of not drinking as much water as we should, especially when the weather get's warmer and we play and exercise more outdoors. It is so important to replace the fluids your body loses so your body can stay in balance. Dehydration can result from excessive sweating during sporting activities, prolonged exposure to sun, hot or humid conditions, raised body temperature during a fever or a loss of fluids from severe vomiting or diarrhea.

Symptoms of dehydration in children can include: dry mouth and lips, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness or irritability, dark colored urine, reduced amount of urine passed, cold, dry skin, and low energy levels. First aid for dehydration aims to replace lost water and salts. Water usually works well, however sports drinks will allow more rapid rehydration because they contain salt and sugar. Also make sure the child is out of the sun, in a cool place. If the child's condition does not improve, seek medical advice.

It's National Immunization Awareness Month!

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases (like whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia) through on-time vaccination.

During NIAM, MPCSD encourages you talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure that you, your child and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.

We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.

As your children head back to school this fall, make sure vaccination is at the top of your checklist. August is also a key time to make sure you are up to date on all the vaccines you need to stay healthy. Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.

Stay healthy and be happy.

Your MPCSD Nurses

Thank You Maker Nexus!

MPCSD Nurses would like to thank Sunnyvale based Maker Nexus for their donation of face shields to our nurses. Although they have been faced with limited resources and high demand, our friends at Maker Nexus answered our request and provided our nurses with free face shields that were designed with their 3-D printers.

Maker Nexus is a registered California non-profit corporation that is currently celebrating its first year as a makerspace. They have been helping during this COVID-19 pandemic by creating face shields and donating them to hospitals and medical professionals throughout the Bay Area.

Maker Nexus considers itself more than just a makerspace, but a resource for makers everywhere. If you are interested in finding out more about this incredible group of makers or wish to donate, please visit the Maker Nexus website.