Janette Latimer BSN RN
Welcome to the Spring semester of 2021
In this space I will be posting ideas and information to hopefully help answer some of the questions that will come up as the year passes. Please feel free to contact me by phone or email as needed.
Take care of each other and be kind.
A Checklist for Returning to In-Person School
We have all been thinking ahead about returning to school full time. Attached are a couple of links to some thoughts, actions, and ideas to consider in preparing. There are practical considerations around illness, school routines, cleanliness, masks, and mental health/social-emotional health. They are very comprehensive and might bring up issues that may not have been thought about yet.
Controlling the Spread
Here are the tips to staying healthy. It is harder now that the weather is colder...bonfire gatherings are my most favorite option!
Returning to Alaska after Traveling
If you are traveling out of Alaska, please let the school know about your plans for school reentry. The following link will take you to the instructional page KPBSD created to help with the options, based on the State of Alaska Health Advisory No. 2.
KPBSD will follow the new State of Alaska Health Advisory No. 2, so therefore, if you travel out of state, it is strongly encouraged that you get a free COVID-19 test when you return to Alaska. Plus, “Strict social distancing is recommended while you wait for test results.” The State travel advisory applies to all staff and students. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me at 235-5711 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Homer has some wonderful resources available for us, especially during the winter.
The City of Homer website is a great place to start looking or try 907-435-3197
The Salvation Army's Drive-Thru Food Pantry, located at 1468 Sterling Hwy, is open every Monday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.
If you are unable to pick up your food box, no worries, call 310-990-3455 between 11:00 am - 1:00 pm to schedule a delivery.
For Salvation Army rent/utility assistance call 310-803-0588.
For a one-stop resource for finding help in your community. Call 2-1-1 or go to https://alaska211.org It’s free, confidential and available in almost any language. Find information on the following:
- · Finding a job or unemployment assistance
- · Food/meal services
- · Health insurance for you or your family
- · Finding or keeping your housing
- · Volunteer opportunities
- · Preparing your taxes
- · Treatment for alcohol or drug abuse
Testing for Covid
There are a variety of reasons why people choose not to test for COVID19. I would like to point out some of the advantages to testing.
Testing is the only way to know the spread of COVID in the community. This is vital information.
On a personal level, if you (or your student) receive a positive test result, it is like receiving a pass for the next 90 days.
-For 90 days, a person with proof can travel out of the state without testing or quarantining when you return to Alaska.
-For 90 days, if you work in the school system and you get a cold, a person with proof only needs to stay home until the symptoms are gone for 24 hours. No testing, no mandatory 10 days out.
-For 90 days, if you would normally be required to test prior to a dental appointment or medical procedure, a person with proof probably won't have to.
-For 90 days, you don't have to worry about quarantining for 14 days if you are identified as a close contact to a positive case IF you have proof.
All you need for proof is your dated positive COVID results.
Having proof of that positive test result could save a lot of hassle and frustration later.
After having COVID, some people will continue to test positive for many weeks after they are no longer infectious. A positive test 4 weeks later could result in a delay in a medical procedure, a delay in travel plans, or a requirement of 10 days in isolation. If you had proof of your positive COVID test 4 weeks before, that could eliminate these issues.
Change is stressful. It affects all of us in different ways, and not always in the same ways each time. Our lives have been changed and some days are better than others. I attached an article that addresses the feelings of anxiety, irritability, sadness, frustration, or even just a general sense of unease that we may be feeling.
Coping with masks
-How to choose a mask- There are so many options out there now, here is some updated information from CDC.gov
-Mask Etiquette from the Center for Disease Control-tips on putting on and taking off the mask, along with reminders to not touch it when it is on your face.
-Washing your Mask from the Center for Disease Control--treat the mask like underwear-change it every day!
-2 good sites for Face Hygiene/Acne (maskne)
-What to do while waiting for your test results. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium developed a comprehensive document detailing responsible actions, with a table to help keep track of your contacts, as Dr Zink has recommended. Contacts are defined as people who have been inside your 6 foot bubble, for a cumulative 15 minutes or more.
-KPBSD and COVID--Here is a direct link to information about risk levels and case counts in the district, updated daily around noontime.
-Link to the FAQ's at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) site.