Nurse's Notes

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Rhonda Wormser, RN, MSN
School Nurse

Welcome to a new school year!

   I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years. This is my 2nd year at  
Bedford Elementary School.

Hand Hygiene is our superpower in keeping everyone safe!

3 W's to reduce your risk of COVID - 19:
Wear a mask
Wash your hands
Watch your distance ( keep 6 feet of space between you and your friends)

COVID-19 resources:

Virginia Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Clinic Reminders
1. Please call and make an appointment with the nurse to bring any necessary supplies and/or medications to the clinic.

2. If your child is taking any daily medications it is strongly recommended that he/she be taking it at home. This is for the health and safety of all students as it will assist with limiting clinic activity, extra travel in the hallways, and student contact.

3. Due to COVID-19 and recommendations from the CDC, if your child has asthma he/she will need to use their inhaler with a spacer in the clinic to maintain a healthy and safe environment in the classroom. Nebulizers will not be administered in the school as the air ventilation system is not set up to accommodate this. 

4. Be mindful of signs of anxiety as we enter this school year. It is normal to be worried and stressed during times of crisis and while worry is a part of anxiety, people with anxiety tend to experience more exaggerated feelings of worry and tension. Some signs are stomach/digestion problems, trouble with concentration/memory or thinking clearly, increased heart rate, changes in energy and difficulty sleeping and irritability and/or restlessness.

5. When you are notified that your child needs to be picked up due to illness, parent/guardian must make prompt arrangements to have their child picked up within one hour. Please keep your emergency contacts current. 

Recommendations to support and protect children’s emotional well-being during the pandemic:

Create a safe physical and emotional environment by practicing the 3 R’s: Reassurance, Routines, and Regulation.

First, adults should reassure children about their safety and the safety of loved ones, and tell them that it is adults’ job to ensure their safety. Second, adults should maintain routines to provide children with a sense of safety and predictability (e.g., regular bedtimes and meals, daily schedules for learning and play). And third, adults should support children’s development of regulation. When children are stressed, their bodies respond by activating their stress response systems. To help them manage these reactions, it is important to both validate their feelings (e.g., “I know that this might feel scary or overwhelming”) and encourage them to engage in activities that help them self-regulate (e.g., exercise, deep breathing, mindfulness or meditation activities, regular routines for sleeping and eating). In addition, it is essential to both children’s emotional and physical well-being to ensure that families can meet their basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, clothing).

Increase children’s self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is the sense of having agency or control—an especially important trait during times of fear and uncertainty. Children often feel more in control when they can play an active role in helping themselves, their families, and their communities. For example, children can help by following safety guidelines (e.g., washing their hands), preparing for home confinement (e.g., helping to cook and freeze food), or volunteering in the community (e.g., writing letters or creating art for older adults or sick friends, sharing extra supplies with a neighbor).

Emphasize strengths, hope, and positivity.

Children need to feel safe, secure, and positive about their present and future. Adults can help by focusing children’s attention on stories about how people come together, find creative solutions to difficult problems, and overcome adversity during the epidemic. Talking about these stories can be healing and reassuring to children and adults alike.

Read the full article here:

Resources for children on COVID-19 and staying healthy:

BrainPOP: Coronavirus (4-minute video, activities, and games)

National Public Radio: Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus

PBS Kids: How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus (includes a list of videos, games, and activities about handwashing and staying healthy at the bottom of the article)


Bedford County Public Schools is working to carefully monitor the health status of our school and community in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Our school division maintains regular communication with the regional offices of the Virginia Department of Health, which serves as the conduit of information for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Our School Nursing Team has received frequent updates for monitoring potential symptoms and risk for COVID-19 through school clinics. 

Our School Nurse Team continues to provide appropriate preventative health instruction for students and families in regard to any communicable conditions, especially those of a respiratory or viral nature. 

  • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue. When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially in areas where someone is known to be ill. 
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has developed a parent resource on how to talk about this important health topic with your child. The CDC provides daily updates and health-related guidance in regards to COVID-19 if further information is needed for your family.

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when should I send them to school?


How do you know when your child is really sick?  
Here are some guidelines to make this "morning decision" a little easier.  
Suggestions for keeping your child at home:

  • Fever that is more than 100 degrees. (Your child should be without a fever, for a full 24 hours without the use of medication, before returning to school).
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting within the prior 24 hour period.  (If your child has diarrhea and is vomiting he/she should see a doctor.  Children can get dehydrated quickly).
  • Cold with fever and thickened yellow or green drainage from nose.
  • Sore throat with fever and swollen neck glands.
  • Cough that keeps your child awake at night.
  • Earache that is severe and persistent.
  • Rashes with blisters, oozing and painful.
  • Redness in the white of eyes, yellow discharge and matted eye lashes. (This is suggestive of pink eye/conjunctivitis. Keep home from school while symptomatic or until 24 hours of antibiotic treatment).

A good question to ask yourself as a parent is:

 "Would I want my child to sit next to a child with these symptoms?

I want to highlight a few important reminders. Any medication to be administered to a student must be brought to the school by the parent/guardian in the original containerPlease do not put medication in a sandwich bag with a note and send it to school with your child.  The “Physician/Parent Authorization to Administer Medication” form must be completed and signed by the parent and physician for any prescription medicine to be administered during school hours. Please keep your emergency card up to date. If your child gets sick or injured at school, these cards are our only means of contacting you without delay.

Please register/update your information in CAREDOX which is the BCPS digital health platform so you will receive emails of your child’s clinic visits. The link to register for CAREDOX is







FAMIS (Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan) 

...covers kids/teens for doctor visits, checkups, glasses, dental and much more for for low to no cost!
 And you can enroll at any time of the year. There is no open enrollment period.
Call the Cover Virginia Call Center at 
1-855-242-8282 or go online to to find out if your children qualify for FAMIS

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