NASN and PDH Provide Resources for School Nurses/Health Services (March 28, 2020)

The PA Division of School Health has been receiving questions about what school nurses can do during the school closures related to the current pandemic.  Click here to access a document published by the NASN entitled “Ideas for School Nurse Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic”.  It provides a variety of things that school nurses may consider implementing in collaboration with their administration.

In addition, please review the information on the below links and check them frequently for updates to ensure you have the most current information.

Coronavirus Information for Education: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Educators.aspx

Guidance and Resources for School Communities: https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx

Pennsylvania Overview: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Prevention strategies:
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.htmlCDC Handwashing Videos
https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/videos.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/training-education.html

Gov. Wolf Signs SB 751 into Law, Amends PA School Code in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic (March 28, 2020)

On March 27th, Governor Wolf signed SB 751 into law. The bill made changes to the PA School Code in order to address issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes include waivers of 180-day requirement, testing, and other mandates, as well as other items involving special ed. PRRIs, financial issues, etc. For more details, go to the “Membership” drop-down on the PAPSA website and click on “Member Resources.”

Governor Wolf Signs Bill to Waive 180 Day Requirement (March 27, 2020)

Today, March 27, 2020, Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 751, which waives the requirement for schools to be in session at least 180 days, provides for continuity of education plans, ensures school employees are paid during the closure, and provides the Secretary of Education with authority to waive student teacher and standardized assessments. The Department of Education previously announced the cancellation of all PSSA testing, Keystone exams and the Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment for the 2019-20 school year.

The governor also signed Senate Bill 422, which reschedules the 2020 primary election from April 28 to June 2, 2020 and makes other election process changes, including some due to the COVID-19 emergency. The bill provides process improvements to Act 77 of 2019, to allow counties to begin processing and tabulating mail ballots beginning at 7 a.m. on election day, rather than after the polls close at 8 p.m. Additionally, the measure allows counties to temporarily consolidate polling places without court approval and eases other rules regarding location and staffing of polling places for the primary to respond to county concerns about a potential shortage of poll workers and appropriate polling place locations.

PDH Puts Screenings, Exams, Counts, and SHARRS on Hold (March 24, 2020)

On March 24, 2020, Colleen Schultz, PDH Chief of the Division of School Health, sent out a PennLink email stating that the Division of School Health has been receiving many questions regarding the collection of the chronic disease counts, obtaining exams, screenings, etc. Due to the unforeseen circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not the expectation of the Division of School Health for nurses to collect the chronic disease count information nor concern themselves with obtaining exams, screenings, etc. at this time. Information will be sent out at a later date concerning the SHARRS report, etc. Instead, it is PDH’s utmost concern that all stay healthy during this time.