North Platte Public Schools

Coronavirus (COVID - 19) Resources as we Return To School

NPPS Staff and Families,

Update - 3-8-21

  • 7 Travel Tips (UNMC)
  • Cough, cough, sneeze, sniffle: allergies or COVID-19? (UNMC)
  • COVID-19 Stats: College and University (CDC)

Update - 3-10-21

  • The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (UNMC)
  • Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment (CDC)
  • When You've Been Fully Vaccinated (CDC)

Update - 2-9-21

  • How to register for the COVID-19 vaccines
  • Have a Safer Valentine's Day (CDC)
  • Things to Know about the COVID-19 Pandemic

Update - 1-19-21

  • Nebraska Medicine ~ COVID Vaccine and What we know now
  • The new coronavirus variants, explained
  • How mRNA vaccines work

Update - 12-8-20

  • AVOID Large Group Gatherings
  • American Association of Pediatrics
  • How to Quarantine

Update - 11-30-20

  • Nebraska Medicine

Update - 11-16-20

  • Nebraska Medicine
  • CDC
  • DHHS - Directed Health Measures (DHM)
  • WCDHD - Red

Update - 10-15-20

  • Celebrate Halloween Safely - Nebraska Medicine
  • myStrength Information
  • Avoid the Three Cs

Update - 10-7-20

  • UNMC Updates and warns about letting down our guards
  • WCDHD and Nebraska Medicine asks for the public to get Flu Shots
  • Face-Coverings and talking with children to protect themselves

UPDATED – 9-18-20 The District has UPDATED our Return To School Plan, Playbook, and Resources click the COVID-19 Resources tab in the Quicklinks below. Update = Face-Coverings will be worn by all students, staff, and approved visitors through the end of December 2020. The district will re-evaluate the status of the COVID-19 spread prior to January 6, 2021. Plans are adjusted according to CDC Guidelines, State Directed Health Measures, and Guidance provided by the Governor and Commissioner of Education and the West Central District Health Department, as well as Health Agencies. Information changes on a weekly basis so please check back frequently for updates. The District will continue to focus on keeping our students and staff safe and keeping our school operating. Return to School Plans will be adjusted in a timely manner to accomplish the desired outcomes.

Face Coverings Are Required On All NPPS Properties until further notice.

Currently, Face Coverings Are Required On All NPPS Properties.The District now has our Return-to-School Plan and Playbooks complete and they can be found on the website or by clicking here.

All plans will be adjusted according to CDC Guidelines, State Directed Health Measures, and Guidance provided by the Governor and the West Central Health Department (WCDHD). Information changes daily and or by the week. Guidance will vary continuously based on the medical professional recommendation. Currently, the WCHD district is now in ORANGE on the community risk dial, and individuals are encouraged to wear face coverings outside of his/her home.

~ Tina Smith

Director of Communications

North Platte Public School District

7 travel tips for when you're fully vaccinated

Itching for a trip? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just updated travel guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated. If it's been two or more weeks since your final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, travel is much safer.

If you're still waiting your turn for a COVID-19 vaccine, stay put for now. COVID-19 variants are circulating both domestically and internationally. "Travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19," says infectious diseases expert Richard Starlin, MD. "We need to get many more people vaccinated, and control of these variants before everyone can travel."

If you're fully vaccinated and planning a trip, get timely advice from Dr. Starlin.

Read the entire article at

7 travel tips for when you're fully vaccinated

The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Published March 4, 2021

On Feb. 27, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the third COVID-19 vaccine. The latest vaccine is an adenovirus vector vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose vaccine – you don’t need to return for a second dose as you do with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine takes 14 to 28 days for your immune system to respond and develop protection.

Read the article in its entirety at

COVID-19 vaccines ~ Nebraska Medicine

We know you have many questions about the COVID-19 vaccines. We’re working hard to deliver answers. The information on this page will evolve as we get more insight into vaccine data and distribution plans.

What we know as of April 5, 2021:

If you are a Nebraska Medicine patient who has questions about the vaccines that you’d like to discuss with your health care provider before registering, please send a message to a member of your care team through the Nebraska Medicine app or the One Chart | Patient desktop portal.

Read the entire story @

What we know as of Feb. 9, 2021:

Area health departments are responsible for coordinating all local COVID-19 vaccinations. Nebraska Medicine does not have vaccines to give to our patients.

Nebraska’s statewide COVID-19 vaccine registration website is now open and taking registrations. If you are able, we strongly encourage you to sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Register through the state website now:

Please try to register through the website first before calling. If you have a loved one or a neighbor who could use assistance with registering online, please try to help them out.

This is not a scheduling system. You will be notified when it is time to schedule your vaccine.

If you previously registered with a local public health department, you do not need to re-register on the state’s website. We expect counties to import the information they’ve been gathering into the state’s system.

Read the entire story @

What we know as of Jan. 19, 2021:

We are working closely with the Douglas and Sarpy County Health Departments on vaccination plans. Local public health departments will make the final decisions on how vaccinations will be given locally.

You will be able to register to receive the vaccine through a statewide website, which should be available by the end of this month. Phone registration will be available as well.

The website will allow you to:

  • View a list of locations offering vaccinations
  • Choose where you would like to get your vaccine
  • Get instructions for scheduling a vaccination appointment at your chosen location

Each county will determine how vaccines are administered based on the number of vaccines allocated to that county by the state.

We expect more clarification on Nebraska Medicine’s role in the statewide vaccination effort by the end of this week. We will continue to communicate updates as we learn more.

A waiting list is not currently available.

Vaccine cost

Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people for free.

Vaccine providers are allowed to charge an administration fee for giving the shot to someone. This fee will be paid by your insurance provider. If you do not have health insurance, Medicare will cover the fee for you.

Why we need COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 infections can be a minor inconvenience, or they can lead to severe disease and death. Social distancing, handwashing and wearing your mask certainly help. However, the best way to stop this virus is to generate COVID-19-specific immunity within our community.

We can achieve this immunity in one of two ways: through illness (natural herd immunity) or through vaccination. Since illness leads to severe disease or death for many, a safe and effective vaccine is a much better alternative.

Use this calculator to assess your own COVID-19 mortality risk

Related Links:

Visit the Nebraska Medicine website to learn more:

A Monumental Day - The Vaccine Arrives - Nebraska Medicine

Cough, cough, sneeze, sniffle: allergies or COVID-19?

If you're an allergy sufferer, the arrival of warmer days not only signals the coming of spring, but it also means the onset of runny noses, sneezing and sniffles. If you haven't already, you've probably found yourself asking, how do I know for certain if my symptoms are due to allergies or COVID-19?

"It can be a tricky question," says Christie Barnes, MD, Nebraska Medicine otolaryngologist. "The key is to determine whether you are having additional symptoms on top of your normal allergy symptoms."

This Q&A answers common questions you may have this fall as you manage your allergies and concerns about COVID-19.

Read the entire article at

Cough, cough, sneeze, sniffle: allergies or COVID-19?

How mRNA vaccines work

The COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna are both mRNA vaccines. These innovative vaccines place a small set of short-lived instructions inside your cells. Previous vaccines used either weakened or inactivated viruses or parts of them to jump-start the immune system.

Here’s how an mRNA vaccine works.

  • The mRNA vaccine goes into your arm. This mRNA instructs your own cells on how to build a part of a protein that the virus has. The needle will hurt like when receiving other vaccines
  • Your muscle cells take up this mRNA and read the instructions, building a spike protein that also is on the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Some of the spike protein shows in part or in whole on the surface of these cells
  • Your immune system recognizes that the protein is different. It starts to produce antibodies as well as trains immune cells to recognize it in the future
  • When your body next sees SARS-CoV-2, some antibodies will be there to start protecting immediately, and immune cells will be primed to increase that protection

You need both injections of the mRNA vaccine to get the full protective effects. One shot alone does not protect the way that was seen in the clinical trials. The mRNA is quickly degraded inside your body, so it doesn’t stick around for long.

Does the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine give COVID-19?

No. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine prevents COVID-19 disease. Since mRNA vaccines don’t carry any virus, the vaccine cannot cause COVID-19 infection.

Do mRNA vaccines change your DNA?

No. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do their work outside of the nucleus in the cytoplasm. DNA is in the nucleus.

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COVID-19 Stats: College and University

COVID-19 Stats: College and University* COVID-19 Student Testing Protocols,† by Mode of Instruction§ (N = 1,849) — United States, Spring 2021¶

Weekly / April 9, 2021 / 70(14);535

View suggested citation

As of March 17, 2021, a total of 899 (49%) of 1,849 public and private, nonprofit 4-year U.S. colleges and universities provided some type of COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic students, including 548 (30%) institutions conducting classes in-person or in a hybrid format. Among institutions providing testing for asymptomatic students, 389 (43%) had protocols that required periodic testing for various subgroups (e.g., athletes, fraternity and sorority activity participants, and a random sample of students); 287 (32%) mandated that all students receive testing (ranging from every other day to once every other week), which did not vary by public or private, nonprofit status or by mode of instruction. Among institutions, 18% (338 of 1,849) did not mention a COVID-19 testing protocol on their websites, including146 with in-person or hybrid instruction. Although asymptomatic transmission is estimated to account for approximately one half of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, a majority (950; 51%) of institutions did not publish a testing protocol for screening asymptomatic students in spring 2021.

Read the entire article on the CDC Website by Clicking Here

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7 steps to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccines

You might be wondering what to expect for your appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In many ways, the COVID-19 vaccines are just like other vaccines you've seen before. Follow these seven steps to prepare for your upcoming vaccination.

1. Don't get other vaccines at the same time

Before you get the COVID-19 vaccine, avoid getting any other vaccines for 14 days. Once you've had your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, wait 14 days to get any other vaccines. It's more important to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available. So adjust the timing of your other vaccines to make sure you get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

2. Pick up some pain relievers

Check your supply of over-the-counter medicine, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. These medicines can help if you develop side effects like fever, pain and headaches. Side effects are normal and mean your immune system is responding to the vaccine. Most people experience more side effects after the second dose.

3. Grab groceries ahead of time

Get groceries before you're scheduled to get your shot. Pick up things you'd get if you were sick, like chicken noodle soup, crackers and sports drinks. The COVID-19 vaccine will not give you COVID-19, but some people feel nausea as a side effect.

4. Be ready to roll

Wear a shirt with sleeves that are easy to roll up or a jacket over a short-sleeved shirt. Bonus points if you wear a favorite outfit perfect for posting your #IGotTheShot selfie on social media later.

5. Hydrate

Eat something and drink water the day of your vaccination. Some people get nervous when they get any kind of shot and can feel dizzy or lightheaded. Proper nutrition and hydration will combat that.

6. Plan to take it easy

If you can schedule your second dose when you have time to rest, that's ideal. Some people may need to take the next day off work if they're feeling under the weather.

7. Ask these kids how they do it

Watch our pediatric patients explain how they take their shots. They give excellent advice!

View this article @

Nebraska Medicine

UNMC offers up-to-date information on the Coronavirus Pandemic Click this button to learn more about the 'Then and Now' of COVID-19.

myStrength ~ Hope, Health, and Happiness

We have witnessed our loved ones’ struggles to overcome the cost, inaccessibility, and stigma of care and treatment.

Knowing that there must be a way to overcome these obstacles, we set out to help those we love… and the more than 50 million others who are working through behavioral health disorders. The vision for myStrength, The health club for your mind™, was born as we realized that the Internet and mobile applications provide a perfect way to help those in need. Done right, digital resources that complement other forms of care, such as medication and working with a behavioral health professional, could give users support that is affordable, accessible, and devoid of the negative image that behavioral healthcare sometimes carries.

Continue to Read and Learn More at

Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment

Because COVID-19 is a new disease with new vaccines, you may have questions about what happens before, during, and after your appointment to get vaccinated. These tips will help you know what to expect when you get vaccinated, what information your provider will give you, and resources you can use to monitor your health after you are vaccinated.

Before getting your vaccine

See if COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for you right now.

Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work.

Learn more about the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccination.

Read the complete article at

COVID-19 Directed Health Measures (DHM)

All Nebraska counties are under Directed Health Measures. These Directed Health Measures apply to every health department jurisdiction in the state.

WCDHD - Community Risk Dial

West Central District Health Department - Community Risk Dial

When you’ve been fully vaccinated

People who are fully vaccinated can start to do some things they stopped doing because of the pandemic.

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If it has been less than 2 weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second dose, you are NOT fully protected. Keep taking all prevention steps until you are fully vaccinated.

Read the entire article at

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NPPS Return To School

Visit our webpage to learn more about the NPPS Return To School Plan

Worried you or your family member might have COVID-19?

UNMC has launched a groundbreaking mobile app to screen large groups of individuals who are concerned that they may have COVID-19 and to help first responders and other health care providers determine a person's likelihood of carrying the disease.

UNMC worked in concert with Apple and with assistance from students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) to fast-track development, repeatedly test and now distribute the app, which can be downloaded on the App Store.

Visit This Site For The Full Article ~

CDC COVID-19 Screening Tool:

MAYO CLINIC Self-Assessment: COVID-19 Screening Tool


3 common mask myths debunked by an infectious diseases expert

By Kelly Cawcutt, MD, MS, infectious diseases expert and critical care physician

Published June 10, 2020

Myth 1: Masks are harmful to your health (False)

The facts:

There are many concerns that wearing masks may be harmful to your health, but this is not based in fact.

The masks we recommend are basic procedure or fabric masks. These masks are not tight fitting and allow airflow, while still protecting others from respiratory droplets.

Just as oxygen can get in, carbon dioxide can get out. So accumulation of carbon dioxide is not a direct concern.

Although these masks are new to most in our community, they are common in the health care setting. Because of this, we have years of experience with them, and are certain they are safe to wear.

Myth 2: Masks only help if someone has symptoms (False)

The facts:

Coughing and sneezing do create very high risk situations, but talking, yelling, exercising and singing can also spread infected respiratory droplets. Any time inhaling and exhaling occur, there is potential to spread the virus. Because of this, we continue to encourage people to wear masks.

Masks help us prevent infection in several ways:

  • You may have COVID-19 without knowing. We know it’s possible for people to carry the virus without having symptoms. By wearing a mask, you can prevent accidental spread
  • Wearing a mask also helps protect you by preventing infection. If someone else is not masked and spreads infected droplets into the air, the mask serves as a barrier that limits the likelihood that you will breath in those droplets and become infected
  • Touching your face with unwashed hands (or even gloves), could get the live virus in your eyes, mouth or nose. Depending on the amount of virus on your hands, this can cause infection. Masks provide a barrier to at least the mouth and nose

Myth 3: Masks cause self contamination (True and false)

The facts:

In truth, this is a both myth and fact. Here’s why: Masks can become contaminated on the outside surface, from the droplets mentioned above.

If you do not handle your mask safely, and use great hand hygiene before and after touching it, you could contaminate yourself by getting virus off the mask, onto your hands, and into your eyes, nose or mouth. This is why washing cloth masks or replacing disposable masks is so important.

However, the idea that wearing a mask after you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 will increase your level of infection, is a myth. There is no evidence to support this self contamination claim.

Wear It Well: A Mask How-To for Kids
Fluffster Wears a Mask
Proper Donning & Doffing of Procedural and Surgical Masks - Nebraska Medicine

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Family Resources

As parents and or guardians it is imperative that we talk with our students about COVID - 19 in a calm and informative manner.

The National Association of School Psychologists recommends the following.

It is very important to remember that children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. If parents seem overly worried, children’s anxiety may rise. Parents should reassure children that health and school officials are working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy. However, children also need factual, age-appropriate information about the potential seriousness of disease risk and concrete instruction about how to avoid infections and the spread of disease. Teaching children positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety.

Visit the National Association of School Psychologists website to view the full article.

Coronavirus explained to kids (by a superhero)
Check out our Sunday Spotlights

Sunday Spotlights feature NPPS Administration and guests discussing Return To School and how it will look as we move into the fall of 2020.

Coronavirus: Multilingual Resources - CDC

Coronavirus Resource Center

Fact sheet: What You Need to Know

Fact sheet: What to Do If You Are Sick

In addition to collaboration with state and local health departments, NPPS does have mass illness infection control plans that will be followed in the event it is necessary.

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