Health Matters

with Brenda Abaro, SHA and Dayna Mersberg BSN-RN

Aloha Makaha Surfers!

Welcome back to a new school year! This school year will look a lot different than previous years, and we want to make sure you know that we are doing all that we can to ensure the health and safety of everyone at Makaha Elementary. We are here to support you and your family as we navigate through the school year, so please reach out to us if needed. Our contact information is below, and we are available through phone, text, and email.

We are hoping this newsletter will be a good tool for you, with some valuable information and resources for things like rent assistance, health questions, and food distribution.

Be sure to check back often because this newsletter will be updated once or twice a week (minimum) while the pandemic is here.

We have lots of new information to share below, including information on Flu shots and and exciting new program Kinsa FLUency School Program!

We will be monitoring the Covid-19 situation carefully and follow all guidelines set by our district and State Health Department. The intent of this newsletter is to share information from credible sources, and to offer some helpful tips as we manage ourselves and our families during the stay-at-home order. As you explore the information below, note that along with infographics and videos, there are clickable buttons and links that will take you to websites containing further information.

Can you also do us a favor and let others know about our newsletter? Mahalo!

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FREE Smart Thermometers through the Kinsa FLUency Program

Great news! Our school has been approved to participate in the Kinsa FLUency School program.

What does this mean? Families and staff will be able to access tools they need help keep our students and school community healthy and safe. Families who choose to participate simply get the FREE Kinsa app by any of the following methods:

1. Downloading the app to your smartphone

2. Text "FLUENCY" to 900900

3. Clicking on the button below (under three pictures)

Kinsa's Support for Schools Amidst COVID-19

Strict Privacy Policy (Kinsa FLUency Program)

All information gathered in the app is anonymous. While it is highly encouraged for parents to log their student's symptoms, temperatures and illnesses in the Kinsa app (both to get guidance and keep the school community in the loop), you are never forced to enter this information in order to participate. It's always opt-in. If parents DO choose to share illness information it will only ever be shown on a grade-level basis ("3 students with Strep in second grade"). Symptoms and illnesses will NEVER be tied back to a class or specific student.


Breakfast: 7:15am-7:45am

Lunch: 11:15am-11:45am

Monday through Friday

Makaha Elementary School Health Room Contact Information

Brenda Abaro

School Health Assitant


Dayna Mersberg, BSN-RN

Hawaii Keiki Nurse


Stop Flu At School Clinic CANCELED

Due to concerns over safety and social distancing requirements, Makaha Elementary has decided to CANCEL the flu clinic previously scheduled for Wednesday, October 21st.

Because symptoms of Covid19 can mimic those of Influenza, we want to be sure families arrange to have their child(ren) receive their flu shot through their healthcare provider or community clinic.


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Parents, please help to keep our school and community safe from the spread of COVID19. We ask for your kokua in screening your child(ren) every morning before school.

If your child has any of the following symptoms or displays ANY type of illness, please keep them home.

IF your child presents with symptoms of illness in school, you will be contacted and arrangements must be made for your child to be picked up within ONE HOUR.

**Be sure the school has updated contact information (current and working telephone numbers) and have multiple emergency contacts on file in the health room to help facilitate release from campus**

Mahalo for partnering with us

Hawaii Keiki Health Hotline

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Students and families can call the hotline from anywhere. The nurse will provide a basic triage assessment over the phone regarding the caller's health concern or question about their child. The caller may receive basic health advice or information and, with parental consent, may be scheduled for a telehealth visit with an HK nurse practitioner. Families may also request to make an appointment with a specific HK nurse practitioner. Students will be referred to the appropriate medical and/or mental health care and can connect with other service providers such as HIDOE support staff such as counselors, social workers, and behavioral health specialists.

HIDOE students' information will be kept in the Health Office Anywhere (HOA) which is HIDOE's school-based electronic health record. HOA keeps a record of visits to the health room and is HIPPA and FERPA compliant. Additionally, the HK nurses document telephone visits and telehealth visits in a medical record system known as Epic. Epic allows the nurse practitioners to communicate with your child's regular doctor.

What to Expect From a Telehealth Visit

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is a medical visit through videoconferencing or sometimes just a phone call with the healthcare provider in a different location from the patient. You may be familiar with videoconferencing with your family or friends through various apps.

Whether you can do a telehealth medical visit by telephone depends on the type of service you need and sometimes on the health insurance that you have.

CDC Self-Checker click HERE

The Coronavirus Self-Checker is to help you make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. It is not intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, including Covid-19. Click the button above to go to the self-checker.

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Not Taking Chances - I wear a mask (full length)
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The ʻOhana Help Desk will provide self-service and chat support for families experiencing issues connecting to HIDOE systems remotely from home. It will be able to assist with connectivity-related issues, access and security issues, device support and general IT support.

Help is available (through multiple languages) by phone at 643-DESK (3375) Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 4 to 8 p.m. The help desk will be closed on state holidays. Online help and information is available 24/7.

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Dashboard from the City and County of Honolulu (see picture above)

Accurate advice and information is critical for community resilience. This page has links to trusted sites that are continually updated:

One Oahu

Below you can see some of the information available on this site:

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The answer is FALSE

Fake cards and flyers, claiming that the bearer is exempt from mask-wearing regulations, have appeared in Hawaii. The cards, which some people have purchased online or printed from websites, may have official-looking logos or government insignias on them. They claim that the person carrying them has a physical or mental condition covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that makes them unable to wear a face covering.

The United States Department of Justice has issued a statement about these fake mask exemptions, explaining that these cards and flyers are fraudulent.
People have tried to use these cards to avoid having to wear a mask in public places that require them, such as some stores and restaurants. The cards are not issued by the U.S. government and are not backed by the ADA.
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For more information contact the Aloha United Way

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Connect with an Information and Referral Specialist by phone, text, chat, or email.

Click here if you want to be taken to the website

7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week, or search their database online 24/7.

Take Care of Mind and Body

How to manage COVID-19 anxiety

The 2020-2021 School Year

NO Spare Clothing in the Health Room

Due to Covid19 safety concerns and limited space in the health room, this year we will not be able to provide extra clothing to students, for whatever reason. If you feel your child needs a change of clothing in school please speak to his/her teacher to see if a spare set can be kept in the classroom. Mahalo for your understanding.

Beginning Fall 2020, additional immunizations will be required for all students entering childcare or preschool, kindergarten, 7th grade and post-secondary school, and for students entering school in Hawai'i for the first time. See the requirements here:

New vaccination and health requirements

Hawaii Keiki nurses like myself work in the health room with the School Health Assistant (SHA) in supporting your child's health and education. When your child is sick at school I can treat your child and decide if your child needs to go home or can stay at school. I can: care for your child's allergies, asthma, and other medical conditions, give your child medication when needed, and offer advice about health topics.

The care your child receives doesn't replace the care your child gets from the doctor or clinic. Also, even though you've signed the consent form, we won't treat or give medications to your child without talking to a parent or guardian first.

There is no cost to you, and before a Hawaii Keiki RN can care for your child, we need your permission. You may review the consent form through the link below, fill it out, and return it to your child's school.

Hawaii Keiki Consent Form

Emergency Action Plan (EAP): If your child has a serious medical condition such as Asthma, Severe Allergy (requiring the use of Epinephrine injection), Diabetes, or Convulsions or Seizures, please consider having and Emergency Action Plan in place, so that school staff may understand how to assist your child, should a medical emergency occur while at school.

If your child needs and EAP or you would like to renew your current plan for the 20-21 SY, please email me at You can also text or leave a message for me at (808)439-1307. Please contact me if you have any questions or just want to learn more about EAP.