Health Matters

with Brenda Abaro, SHA and Dayna Mersberg, BSN-RN

Aloha Makaha Surfers!

Welcome to our school's health room newsletter! We are so excited to be welcoming students back to campus! Be sure to scroll through the entire newsletter for some of the latest information, including videos and instructions for receiving the Covid-19 vaccination!

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 from credible sources.

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

We will be monitoring the Covid-19 situation carefully and follow all guidelines set by our district and State Health Department. 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!

HIDOE: Getting Back to School Safely

Time and Science have given us a better understanding of how to move forward with care and thought as we continue to experience this pandemic. The best available scientific evidence shows that COVID affects age groups differently. In general, the risk to children is low. Kids going to school in person does not put them at higher risk of getting or spreading COVID compared to kids’ risk outside in the community.

A safe school follows procedures that prevent the spread of infection while children are in school. Important actions include correct universal masking, distancing, improving classroom airflow, hand-washing, cleaning, and the ability to quickly identify close contacts of a person that tested positive for COVID to prevent spread by timely isolation and quarantine.

With the knowledge that all the above actions taken together gives the best level of prevention, the CDC has updated its core recommendations for physical distancing in schools from 6 feet to 3 feet in between young students regardless of the level of community spread. This change allows more students to come to school where they learn best and be with their friends. For more information, please read:

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Students will be provided mask breaks periodically throughout the school day, outside of their lunch period. Safety protocols have been put in place so that it is done in a beneficial, but safe manner.


HIDOE Daily Wellness Checks
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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

Activate & Set Up Your Thermometer

How To Set Up Your Kinsa Thermometer - FLUency

Makaha Elementary School Health Room Contact Information

Brenda Abaro

School Health Assitant


Dayna Mersberg, BSN-RN

Hawaii Keiki Nurse


Did your child get sent home from school for Covid-like symptoms? Are they sick at home? Are you a teacher or staff who left work for Covid-like symptoms? View the video below to see the steps you need to take to be able to return to campus safely.

The DOE Exclusion Policy applies to students who get sick at home AND those sent home from school with Covid-like symptoms

HIDOE: How to Return to Work/School After COVID-19-Like Symptoms
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A new booklet available from the Hawaii DOH shares important information and resources for caring for someone with Covid19. Check it out! It has some interesting information about isolation vs quarantine, contact tracing, and cleaning your home environment.
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For vaccine related questions call (808) 586-8332

Monday through Friday

7:45am - 4:30pm

Log into Facebook
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Click HERE to learn more about the Covid19 vaccine

See the plan, status, safety, and FAQs

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AlohaSafe Alert - Hawaii's Official COVID-19 Exposure Notification App

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.

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Click HERE for info about Hawaii's Travel Requirements

What you need to know about inter-island, domestic, and international travel

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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 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.