School nurse takes NewsChannel 9 inside C-NS’s ‘isolation room’

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CICERO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — No singing will be coming from the chorus room at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Instead, it’s being turned into an “isolation room” where students with COVID-19 symptoms will be sent.

Guidelines from the New York State Department of Education require school districts to have a designated location to put students exhibiting one or more symptoms.

In the high school’s case, it’s conveniently located across from the nurse’s office.

Margaret Miller-Puma, one of the school’s nurses, showed NewsChannel 9 that room, which is still a work in progress. Beds will be placed six feet apart, dividers will keep germs contained to each person’s area and a desk will be set up for nurses assigned to the room.

Before the school year begins, teachers will be trained to look for COVID-19 symptoms, which includes cough, shortnesses of breath, runny nose and fever.

However because the CDC guidelines require only one symptom of the virus to be present, the nurse thinks many students will be sent home that ultimately do not have coronavirus. She says she will yield on the side of caution, knowing how quickly one case of the virus can spread.

Those nurses will wear N-95 masks, gowns and face shields as they take the students’ temperatures and wait for a parent to take them home.

The only way students are allowed to return to school is with proof of a negative coronavirus test. If the results are positive, the student’s entire class, teacher and school bus classmates will need to quarantine for 14 days.

Miller-Puma hopes parents encourage their children to wear masks at school, arguing it’s protecting others’ health more than their own.

She also appreciated that the district leadership included its nurses to contribute to their reopening plan.


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For more local news, follow Andrew Donovan on Twitter @AndrewDonovan.

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