School Nurses To Play Big Role In Eventual Reopening Of In-Class Learning In LA : Coronavirus Updates The Los Angeles Unified School District began virtual classes this week. The second-largest U.S. school district hopes students will be back in classrooms this year. To do that, nurses will be key.

School Nurses To Play Big Role In Eventual Reopening Of In-Class Learning In LA

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The second largest school district in the country began classes this week. But the Los Angeles Unified School District started the school year with remote learning.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

But LA schools hope to resume in-person classes eventually, so they made a plan. They want to test their more than 600,00 students and 75,000 staff members. School nurses will help make that happen. And one of them is Stephanie Yellin-Mednick.

STEPHANIE YELLIN-MEDNICK: Is it going to be mind-boggling? It could be. It'll be, I guess, questionnaires going home to parents where they'll go ahead and tell us what's going on with the family, the children. And then we'll go ahead and test.

GREENE: They'll be testing, as well as contact tracing, which takes aggressive and widespread follow up. One problem with this plan is that LA schools are short on nurses - really short.

YELLIN-MEDNICK: I'm the only nurse. But many elementary schools get a nurse one day a week. And two years ago, I worked as a lead nurse out of the nursing office. And I covered five different campuses.

INSKEEP: Now she's the one nurse for a school with more than 2,000 students. She says the district is doing what it can to hire new school nurses.

YELLIN-MEDNICK: And remember, the plan probably is not to bring everybody back on campus right away. It'll be to split everybody up until we're up and safely running for a while. And I don't think I test everybody in one day. And I don't think I'll be the only nurse doing it.

GREENE: Well, let's hope not. The LA school superintendent hoped to administer the first COVID-19 tests by today.

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