North Platte Public Schools

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

NPPS Staff and Families,

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

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.

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Trick-or-treating tips from an infectious diseases expert

Halloween candy has always been a concern for germs of any kind, not just SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes COVID-19). But, it’s important to remember that this virus can be in the air for periods of time after an infected person has been present. I am more concerned about COVID-19 exposure during trick-or-treating than transmission of the virus strictly from the wrappers.

The reality is, if the wrapper is contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, you came in close contact with someone who has it. That close contact with an infected person is the highest risk, not the candy wrapper itself.
COVID-19 can spread if kids are in close contact with candy passers or not using excellent hand hygiene after reaching into bowls. Here are some guidelines to make trick-or-treating safer.

While trick-or-treating

  • Wear masks that cover your nose and mouth. Costume masks don't count if air can expel out. Halloween is the PERFECT holiday for mask use
  • Only accept wrapped candy. Assume there could be unclean hands touching candy
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other families trick-or-treating

How to open candy safely

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer, then open the candy wrappers. Avoid touching the candy itself by opening it onto a plate
  • Wash hands with soap and water after opening the candy and before eating it. (Hand sanitizer can leave an unpleasant taste on hands, so washing will avoid that.)

Giving out candy

  • Wear masks that cover your nose and mouth while giving out candy
  • Don't let children reach into the bowl. Use a scoop to pass it out to allow hands-free candy
  • Consider making something creative, like a candy slide or grab-and-go bags. This will keep kids 6 feet away from others so they can get candy without contact

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggests alternate ways of celebrating Halloween. You might celebrate with a fun movie night, carving pumpkins or decorating cupcakes.

University of Nebraska Medical Center - UNMC on Facebook Watch

COVID-19 vs. the flu: How do I tell the difference?

With the flu season just around the corner and high numbers of COVID-19 cases still being diagnosed, you probably have questions. How do I tell the difference between the two, will my doctor know which illness I have and when do I seek medical attention?

While these viruses have many similarities, there are also some important differences. Several Nebraska Medicine physicians shed some light on these two viruses and how to best navigate them this fall.

Continue Reading on the UNMC Website by CLICKING HERE

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Influenza activity is increasing in Nebraska

The West Central District Health Department would like to remind the public that getting their flu vaccine is more important than ever during the 2020-2021 flu season. Flu vaccinations are significant during this flu season to help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses in our communities and possible burden on the healthcare system during COVID-19. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated each flu season.

Preventive Actions to Reduce Influenza in our area:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu
  • Stay home when you are sick – If you or your child are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you and your child stay home at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except for medical care or other necessities. Fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine. The stay-at-home guidance for COVID-19 may be different. *Additional recommendations and precautions may be taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.*
  • Get your flu shot each flu season. WCDHD currently offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine for any individual 6 months of age and older, to include a flu vaccine for those with an egg allergy. WCDHD participates in the Adult Immunization Program (AIP) and the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) where flu shots are available for all ages for those who are uninsured or underinsured.

For more information on Influenza (flu), visit the CDC website:

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

WCDHD - Community Risk Dial

West Central District Health Department - Community Risk Dial

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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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