District 158 nurses prep for the students


Courtesy of District 158

By Zoe Emerson

The COVID-19 global pandemic has been stressful for a lot of people. Many are getting sick, dying, struggling financially, and dealing with anxiety about the unknown future. 

Healthcare workers are serving on the front lines, risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients. They are not only working in doctor’s offices and hospitals, but also in schools. 

As schools are slowly starting to integrate in-person learning again, teachers and students are mandated to follow social distancing requirements and wear masks. If they display any symptoms of COVID-19, they are not to attend school.

“We have been preparing all summer,” Huntley High School nurse Donna Kunz said. “We have taken contact tracing courses, we have been on the McHenry County Task Force, [and] we have worked very hard to prepare.” 

With the district using the summer to focus on planning a hybrid model of learning, administrators did not forget about the school nurses. The district made sure that all of the nurses were properly trained and had adequate protective gear. 

“They have been very good about getting us the equipment we need and having meetings with us. We were the first district to be tested for the N95 masks. The district is taking very good care of us,” HHS nurse Lindsie Teson said. 

Of course, students are faced with a lot of questions regarding the usage of the nurse’s office during the school day. There is good news: students with medication will be admitted into the nurse’s office to take it. Furthermore, students with injuries or medical emergencies will be attended to. 

“Students can take the medication in here, but they are still not allowed to carry medicine, unless they are for emergencies. There will be a clean area for medicine,” HHS nurse Ellen Anderson-Ronzia said. 

However, students should not expect a trip to the nurse’s office to be a walk in the park. There will be separate isolation rooms for individuals with symptoms of COVID-19. Students are also required to come with a pass. 

“There was work done this summer and the health office will look very different,” Kunz said. “There are less costs and the district also put in a new ventilation system.”

The nurses will have a big job to do when District 158 begins to allow students back into the building. They will have to be decked out in gowns, N95 masks, and gloves.

“I feel safe about it because we have proper precautions. It comes down to each individual person and how safe they will be about it,” Teson said. 

In the end, it comes down to not only the school community, but our community as a whole. If people can follow the proper protocols, social distancing, and masks, returning to school will be a lot safer for everyone.