School nurse says collaboration between schools and medical community has been a positive during pandemic

BILLINGS, Mont. - School Nurse Rachel Coombs said the pandemic has presented huge challenges, but one positive has been the collaboration between schools and the medical community.

Coombs said a group of people from the schools and medical community have been meeting once a week since the year year started.

"It's kind of flown under the radar," she said. "Nobody, I don't think knows it's been happening. We have school nurses from around the county. And, we also have some district administrators. So, a lot of the districts are represented, including the Catholic Schools, Billings Public Schools, some of the outlying schools. And, then we also have pediatricians and health care providers from Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare, Children's Clinic and Riverstone Health."

Coombs said everyone's goal during those meetings has been to keep schools open.

"I think the thing that I'm most excited about is the data we have has shown that we have been successful at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our classrooms," she said.

Coombs said that the biggest role school nurses have played during the pandemic has been to be a link between schools and the medical community. She praised the efforts of both the schools and medical community, as well as the students, saying the kids have adapted so well throughout all of this.

The latest information regarding COVID-19 quarantine tracking in Billings Public Schools can be found here.

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