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Hickory Public Schools may add school nurse

Hickory Public Schools may add school nurse

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Hickory Public Schools may get an additional school nurse paid for by federal COVID-19 response monies.

One additional nurse would be paid for by money given to Catawba County through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Catawba County Budget and Management Director Jennifer Mace said during a Catawba County Board of Commissioners subcommittee meeting on Monday.

The position will cost $26,700 for the remainder of the 2020-21 year. The position will be funded by CARES Act money through the 2021-22 year, Mace said. Two school nurse positions were added to Catawba County Schools in October, also partially funded by CARES Act money.

The new school nurse would bring the total to 27 full-time public health nurses in Catawba County.

The additional nurse will be another asset in keeping students safe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mace said.

“This will drastically help Hickory Public Schools in dealing with the pandemic and beyond the school year,” Mace said.

School nurses are often tasked with helping monitor student health, looking for signs of COVID-19, coordinating quarantine and self-isolation for students exposed to COVID-19 and administering COVID-19 tests when approved by parents.

The addition was recommended by the finance and personnel subcommittee on Monday. It will go before the full county board Tuesday, Jan. 19.

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