Read on for the latest from the school's medical professionals on care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Families can help the USN Health Team by updating their students’ Magnus Health records to include any known chronic health issues, allergies, and medications. Simply log into usn.org, click Resources, and click Magnus Health.
By Jennifer Aaron, N.P., USN Health Team Member
Greetings from the USN Health Team. We’ve had a few weeks’ experience adjusting to life on campus amid a global pandemic. Understandably, this period of time has come with many opportunities for learning and improvement.
One of our greatest challenges thus far has been evaluating students with chronic conditions that have overlapping symptoms with COVID-19, such as allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal issues and migraines, to name a few. Based on the protocol we’ve adapted from the Tennessee Department of Health, several of these related symptoms will prohibit students and faculty from attending school in-person, require that they be sent home during the day, and may necessitate further evaluation, including COVID-19 testing or a doctor’s visit. Something as simple as congestion or as common as a headache can also be the presenting symptom for COVID-19. This adds to the challenge of managing what appears to be the usual diagnosis.
We realize that our requirements can present inconveniences for students and families. Each time a student comes to us with even one low- or high-risk COVID-19 symptom for the first time, he or she will be treated according to the protocol as presented on page 10 of Responsible Restart: USN's Back-to-School Guide. For students with chronic conditions, we are working with families and primary care providers to establish a baseline set of symptoms and physical exam findings. We are documenting this information in the medical record and will refer to it when a student presents to us, looking for a deviation from what they normally experience. When possible, we will use this baseline to help decide whether absence from school or further evaluation is needed.
Parents and guardians, you can help us by updating your students’ Magnus health record to include any known chronic health issues, allergies, and medications. When possible, physician documentation of a diagnosis and typical symptoms is helpful. It helps us take better care of your children when we know about their health.
Lastly, the members of the Health Team appreciate the cooperation, patience, and understanding from our USN families. Your commitment to the daily health screening has resulted in fewer sick children coming to school. You have been responsive to our calls and shown flexibility when a departure from school at midday is required. We are all working towards a mutual goal, so thank you for your commitment to keeping USN healthy. If you have any questions, we encourage you to reference our Health Team FAQ.
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