EECS Nurse Notes

Welcome to the EECS Nurse Notes from Nurse Shirah

A Letter From Portland Public School Nurses

We understand that the novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is causing much anxiety in our community, country and the world especially now that schools will be closed for two weeks starting March 16th. We are working hard to provide you with the most up to date information on this rapidly evolving situation. Following is a brief overview of the current situation.For more information and FAQ’s, we recommend you visit and continue to check our website for updates and guidance.

What is Known

· The virus causing COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified and causes a respiratory illness ranging from a mild cold-like illness to severe pneumonia.

· Most (81%) of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in China had mild disease, including most children.

· Similar to influenza, the people who are most likely to have severe disease and complications from COVID-19 are older individuals (>60 years old) and those with other medical conditions like heart and lung disease or diabetes.

· There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for COVID-19 but the National Institutes of Health is evaluating treatments and developing a vaccine already.

How The Virus Spreads

· COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the common cold or flu spreads—through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.

· People who are most at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease.

· People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

· Some spread of the virus might be possible before a person has symptoms; there have been reports of this with COVID-19, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

What You Can Do Now

  • Teach your children to always cover their cough and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.

  • Remind them to wash their hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) after they touch their face, use the restroom and before they eat.

  • Tell children to avoid touching their mouth and nose since that is how germs get into the body.

  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (everyday household disinfectants are fine) Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles, and sink handles.

  • Eat a healthy diet, keep regular sleep schedules and allow for exercise and fresh air.

Finally how to practice Social Distancing:

Social distancing is a way for people who are not ill to limit or avoid contact with viruses that cause illness such as pandemic flu by spreading easily from person to person. Learning about and practicing social distancing can help you, your family, and community delay or reduce the impact of a pandemic.

What you can do AT HOME

■ When ill, avoid contact with people, even your family, as much as possible. ■ Avoid social gatherings and playdates. ■ Cover your coughs and sneezes. ■ Clean your hands frequently. ■ Keep a distance of 6 feet from others when possible.

What you can do ABOUT WORK

■ Stay home from work if you are ill. ■ Do not return to work for at least 48 hours after your last fever. ■ Work from home if possible. ■ Use email, conference calls or video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings when possible. ■ Carry your lunch and eat away from others. ■ Cover your coughs and sneezes. ■ Clean your hands and work surfaces (phones, headsets and keyboards) frequently. ■ Keep a distance of 6 feet from others when possible.

What you can do IN YOUR COMMUNITY

■ Plan home entertainment that limits contact with others. ■ Avoid public gatherings such as movies, concerts, and church or community meetings when possible. ■ Shop at non-peak times. ■ Avoid public transportation or travel during non-peak hours. ■ Cover your coughs and sneezes. ■ Clean your hands frequently. ■ Keep a distance of 6 feet from others when possible. Stay home when sick. • Clean your hands Cover your coughs and sneezes.

We are receiving updates as The Maine Department of Education is working directly with Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor this evolving situation. We will continue to provide new information to the community as things change.


Nurse Shirah and the Portland Public School District Nurses