DENVILLE, NJ -- During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have devoted their time and more to those affected by the coronavirus. The same can be said of the nurses of the Denville Township School District. They include Jessica Seidel and Jennifer Sinha, of Valleyview Middle School; Mariana Vyksyuk, Susan Stiles and Dorinda Angelo, of Lakeview Elementary; and Barbara Beere and Kelli Skorupa, of Riverview Elementary.
“Last summer, we began to prepare for the unprecedented 2020-21 school year,” said Seidel, who has served as Valleyview’s nurse for the past six years.
“The nurses became certified in contact tracing in anticipation of what was to come. Thousands of masks, gloves, gowns and face shields were ordered. Thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer, sneeze guards for the students, teachers and office staff were ordered. The health offices were transformed into multiple areas where the nurses can triage students and staff for COVID-19 symptoms in one area, while tending to the normal scrapes and bumps of the children in another separate space. The humming of the air purifiers can be heard in the background.”
Denville schools have been open since day one of the pandemic, offering hybrid learning options for the most part.
“All of this preparation, PPE and contact tracing is nothing new to a nurse,” said Seidel. “This is what we had all trained for while we earned our nursing degrees and in previous experiences. Wearing masks, gowns and gloves is not new to us. In all of our previous workplaces, hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, home care, this is the norm. All of this is what we have always done to prevent the spread of infection.”
Denville’s school nurses continued to maintain order and health within Valleyview, Riverview and Lakeview. They have received praise and support from all in and out of their school district.
“Our schools are in decent shape, and our nurses have been terrific,” said Superintendent Steve Forte.
“They even work on the weekends, keeping everyone safe. I can’t say enough about them. All staff and administration feel the same way.”
The Denville school nurses have not taken their efforts for granted, making sure all health standards are held high and doing their part for the sake of their students.
“COVID-19 has shown the world what the nurses and medical community have always known,” said Seidel.
“Infections can spread rapidly when proper precautions are not taken to stop them from proliferating. Everyone must do their part in infection prevention by wearing masks, washing hands, distancing and staying home when sick or exposed to someone with symptoms or who is positive. You don’t know if the person standing next to you has a grandparent at home who is frail or a parent undergoing chemotherapy and has a weakened immune system, or a new baby. Pick up the phone if you receive a call from a contact tracer. Be truthful with the nurses when they ask about contacts and where you have been. Someone’s life may be at stake if you don’t.”
For more information and COVID-19 updates, visit the website of the Denville Township School District at http://www.denville.org/.
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