Mayor: I want to announce something very important. Every single New York City public school building will have a certified nurse. There's a tremendous value to having a health professional present. We're working with the Health + Hospitals team to put this together. There were schools that didn't have nurses historically, and we needed it for this situation. Health + Hospitals came forward and said, in the middle of the worst months of the pandemic, we went and found certified nurses, brought them in on a contract. We can do that for the schools as well. We will take care of this for our sister agency, the Department of Education. They did it on a matter of days' notice back during the worst of the crisis, they've got a whole month to get it in place, they'll get it done. They hired thousands and thousands of nurses at the height of the pandemic in April, and we're talking about hundreds needed here.
Question: We know that this year is going to be really different, and one thing that we've heard from nurses is just exactly how their jobs are going to change inside of school buildings. Will they be the one staffing the isolation room and what's their day to day going to look like?
Chancellor Carranza: The role of the school nurse is to be the school nurse. The school nurse will not be manning the isolation room. Instead, there is a building safety committee and the committee will be empowered to make the decisions because it has multiple stakeholders around, what is, a rotation. There'll be a number of individuals that would manage an isolation room if the need arises.
Let me be clear about what manning an isolation room means. That means that if a child or an adult is experiencing any symptoms of being sick, they will obviously, with the appropriate PPE, be put into a room where they would wait for somebody to pick them up or take them home. The person doesn't have to be a medical profession. They're not administrating any medical interventions. They're simply waiting with that individual until somebody picks them up. They would have the appropriate PPE and they don't have to be in the room. They could stand at the doorway. It's just to make sure that there's supervision and that somebody attended to the child in that room.
The nurses will obviously be the medical expert on the campus, and we also have situations in New York City schools where we have partnerships with community-based health organizations. Some of our schools have a rotation of nurses and doctors that actually work through the community schools model as well. The top line is that every school will have a nurse in their building, some schools have multiple medical professionals in their building, I don't want that to get lost.
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