Health Services

 

Dear Families,                                             

Please be aware that during the 2020-2021 school year,  I will continue to be available to assist students and families. Feel free to contact me on my work cell phone during usual school hours if you have questions regarding health concerns, or need help accessing medical resources for your family.

Stay Healthy!

Sonja Bittner RN
Sequim School District Nurse
(360)477-7728
sbittner@sequimschools.org.

3 TIPS TO ADD FACE COVERINGS TO YOUR ROUTINE

https://publichealthinsider.com/2020/06/08/3-tips-to-add-face-coverings-to-your-routine/

Public Health Insider
 

Wearing a face covering in public is a habit we need to ingrain, not only because of the Local Health Officer Directive but also because we’ll need to protect each other as we gradually engage with the outside world again. But starting new habits is rarely easy. Here are three tips that might help make face coverings part of your routine.

1. Choose the right face covering for you

A lot of people are wearing homemade cloth masks (check out our blog post on tips for making them!), but if you’re not feeling crafty or can’t get your hands on one, there are other options. Bandanas and scarves are good alternatives as long as they fit snugly over the nose and mouth and have multiple layers.

Disposable masks, like dust masks, are another alternative. We want to save medical masks for health care providers who are on the front lines, so please check the label and avoid purchasing surgical, N95 respirator, or other medical masks.

We’ve received a number of questions about vented masks and face shields.  While vented face masks and face shields provide protection to the person wearing them, they aren’t interchangeable with homemade cloth face coverings because they do not protect others. Vented masks are designed to keep particulates out of the lungs, such as wildfire smoke. But that means they also can release infectious droplets.

Transparent face shields may protect the wearer from other people’s sneezes and coughs but don’t block the wearer’s droplets from dispersing out the sides and bottom of the shield. So they protect the wearer but aren’t as protective towards other people. Face shields still can be helpful for other situations, like to help people who are deaf communicate with one another or when someone has a health condition that does not allow them to wear a cloth face covering. If two people in close contact are both wearing face shields, both people are protected.

2. Stop your glasses from fogging up

If you wear glasses, you know that the combination of glasses + face coverings leads to foggy, obstructed vision. Apparently, there’s a simple way to fix this problem – and all it requires is a little soap and water! After washing your hands for 20 seconds, wet your lenses and gently lather them with soap. Rinse, dry with a clean towel, and you’re ready to go. We tried it and could tell a difference! For instructions and pictures, check out this article.

3. Carry your face covering with you

You never know when you’ll need to throw one on, so try to keep one in your car or purse (in a bag to keep it and other items clean). Coverings should be worn in public indoor and outdoor spaces when you can’t keep six feet of distance from others, some it’s good to have it handy for situations like these:

  • Outdoors: when walking a popular path and shopping at a farmer’s market.
  •  Indoors: when using an elevator, passing through a lobby or enclosed hallway, using a public restroom, or entering any other space that may lead to interaction with others.

Some people don’t need to wear face coverings for personal health or safety reasons, such as people with disabilities that make it hard to wear  – and that’s ok. But for those who can, wearing a face covering helps protect those who are at higher risk of severe disease and those who we count on to provide services we need. And it’s also part of how we prevent a second wave of COVID-19 and meet the criteria for further reopening King County.

Originally published on June 8, 2020.


Long time Sequim physician, Dr. Charles Sullivan MD, addresses important information about face masks for Sequim Fire District 3.



MASKS for children from The American Academy of Pediatrics

Although the new health directive to wear face coverings in public went into effect on May 18th, it’s very important to remember that masks do not replace proper hygiene or physical distancing.  Washing hands and staying at least 6 feet away from those not in your family remain the most critical steps to help prevent coronavirus. 

It is important to remember while wearing a mask not to touch it or your face except to remove it. When you touch your mask, you are no longer protecting yourself or others.
Make sure face coverings are worn properly:

  • For a mask to be safest and most protective for children and adults, they should securely cover the nose and mouth and stretch from before the ear to the other side.  
  • Masks should not be worn when eating or drinking.  
  • Masks should not be touched when on. 
  • Hand washing (for 20 seconds) should take place before and after you remove a mask.  
  • Masks should be washed after each wearing. Remove the mask from behind without touching the front of the mask.  

Should children wear masks?  

  • The CDC does not recommend masks for children under age two.
  • Children ages 2-12 years: Children in this age group should only wear a face covering if a parent or caregiver supervises to make sure it’s worn safely https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/care/masks/summary.asp
  • If children are at home with just the usual residents, they do not need to wear a mask (assuming that they have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19). 
  • If children can be kept at least 6 feet away from others, and not be in contact with surfaces that could harbor the virus, then they do not need a mask for the protection of themselves or others.   
  • For example, during a walk outdoors, as long as children can maintain social distancing of more than 6 feet and do not touch tables, water fountains, playground equipment or other things that infected people might have touched, then they will not acquire the infection and would not need masks. 
  • Especially for younger children who may not understand why they can’t run up toward other people or touch things they shouldn’t, the best approach is to keep them home and in spaces away from other people and common surfaces.
  • Places where a child would benefit from wearing a mask are places where they are likely to encounter other people at a closer than 6 foot range. For example, if you must take your child to the doctor, or the pharmacy or grocery store, and are unable to leave them at home, wearing masks in those settings could be beneficial. 
  • Children with fever or respiratory or GI symptoms like a cough, congestion, runny nose, diarrhea, or vomiting should be at home.  
  • Children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments may have a hard time tolerating a face mask, so special precautions may be needed..  
  • Situations in which children should not wear a mask include:  
    • Children under the age of 2 years, due to risks of suffocation.  
    • If the only face covering available is a possible choking or strangulation hazard.  
    • If the child has difficulty breathing with the face covering or is unable to remove the cover without assistance.  
    • If wearing the face covering causes the child to increase risk of getting exposed to the virus because they are touching their face more frequently

https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/masks-and-children-during-covid-19/

*Make sure not to stigmatize or discriminate against people who are unable to wear a face covering. Some people should not wear a mask.

For more information about masks and how to wear and make one, visit the Health Services webpage at the Sequim School District website: http://sequimschools.org/departments/Health

Sonja Bittner RN
Sequim School Nurse
sbittner@sequimschools.org

 



making a no-sew face mask at home without having to buy new supplies:

  1. Lay out a bandana or cut a 22"x 22" square of cotton fabric
  2. Place a flat coffee filter in the center of the square (optional)
  3. Fold the top and bottom in towards the center
  4. Place a twist tie, paper clip, or other metal piece close to the top (optional)
  5. Fold the top and bottom in towards the center
  6. Fold the sides in towards the center, placing your ties at the folded crease. If you're using rubber bands or hair ties, loop these around the fabric. If you're using shoelaces or string, place the center of the string in the folded crease and pull the straps tight
  7. Tuck one end of the fabric into the other
  8. Lift the mask to your face and secure the straps. For hair ties and rubber bands, loop them over each ear. For shoelaces and string, tie them behind your head
  9. Adjust as needed, making sure your mouth and nose are completely covered



Clallam County Public Health
 is tracking our community concerns closely. Please go to this website for the most up to date information: http://www.clallam.net/coronavirus/


Allergy Symptoms VS COVID-19 Symptoms

Throughout the US, pollen has started to bloom and cause typical symptoms in those with allergies right as we have seen the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Allergies typically cause nasal symptoms such as a runny nose and sinus congestion but do not usually result in a fever, as is found with coronavirus or the flu. While some symptoms of the coronavirus overlap with allergies, there are several differences. 

It’s important to note that this article is not intended to provide comprehensive medical advice. If you have concerns, please always contact your doctor and use general best practices

The Symptoms Of The Coronavirus Are:

According to the CDC, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Coronavirus is spread through coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. We recommend following the CDC guidelines and those of your local health department to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Symptoms Of Allergies Are:

Symptoms of seasonal allergies range from mild to severe and occur seasonally. The most common include:

  • sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • watery and itchy eyes
  • itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
  • ear congestion
  • postnasal drainage

Less Common Symptoms Include:

  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • coughing

Allergies are caused by a response in the immune system and are not contagious. Medications can treat your symptoms, and immunotherapy can help those with allergies find relief. 

Take a look at our comprehensive chart below detailing the differences between the flu, allergies, and cold. 

Symptoms

Cold

Flu

Allergy

Fever

Rare

High 101-104
Last 3-4 days

Absent

Headache

Rare

Prominent

Common

Aches & Pains

Slight

Usual, Often
Severe

Never

Fatigue,
Weakness

Quite mild

Can last up to
2-3 weeks

Common

Extreme
Exhaustion

Never

Early and
Prominent

Usual

Stuffy Nose

Common

Sometimes

Common

Sneezing

Usual

Sometimes

Common

Sore Throat

Common

Sometimes

Common

Chest
Discomfort,
Cough

Mild to
Moderate
Hacking cough

Common
Can be
Severe

Sometimes

Complications

Sinus congestion
Or earache

Bronchitis,
Pneumonia;
Can be
Life Threatening

Asthma,
ear infections,
Sinusitis,
Nasal polyps

Prevention

None

Annual vaccination,
Antiviral Drugs

Controlling
environment

Treatment

Only temporary
Relief of
Symptoms

Antiviral drugs
24-48 hours after
Onset of symptoms

Controlling
environment,
Medications,
Allergy
injections

Occurrence

3-4 times yearly

Once yearly

Seasonal/
Repeatedly

New Community Response Help Line, for more information please click on the link below:

Clallam County Offers Assistance

 

Sequim School District
Health Services Staff
Contact Us

School Nurse 
Sonja Bittner BSN, RN
sbittner@sequimschools.org
360-477-7728

Health Services Specialist 
Ardis Mangano
ardisann@sequimschools.org
360-670-6589

Helen Haller Health Clerk
Cherie Hendrickson
cherson@sequimschools.org
360-582-3239 

Helen Haller Health Clerk
Cassie Cobb
ccobb@sequimschools.org
360-582-3239 

Middle School Health Clerk
Jennifer Meysenburg
jmeysenburg@sequimschools.org
360-582-3509 

High School Health Clerk 
Celene Frick
cfrick@sequimschools.org
360-582-3604

Greywolf Health Clerk
Jane Sallee
jsallee@sequimschools.org
360-582-3305