Mrs. Boyd's Blog

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5/25/2021 

It is amazing that LAS has made it mostly in-person for the school year.  I can't believe we only have 14 1/2 school days left! 

As the weather warms up, we recognize that mask breaks are becoming more important. Teachers are offering them throughout the school day. In addition, if a teacher notices or any student reports that they feel like they are struggling because of wearing a mask, they will be encouraged to take a mask break, drink some water, and rest until they are feeling better. Please help your child or children remember to bring their water bottle to school to help keep them hydrated and comfortable.  

Per NH DHHS recommendations, if seated, masked and monitored, students should be a minimum 3 feet apart.  Outdoors or indoors, if they are unmasked they should be a minimum of six feet apart.  Being outside offers the best opportunities for mask breaks.  This is safest when they are seated 6 feet or more apart, on a swing, or playing a game like frisbee.  If they are doing something that potentially brings them in closer contact with each other - like playing basketball or 4-square, they will still be expected to wear a mask. 

Summer vacation is in sight, let's finish the school year strong and healthy.

Fondly,

Mrs. Boyd

Masks, testing, variants, vaccines, and kindness

212/21 - Some happy news:  Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are all on the significant decline since the peak at the end of 2020.  This week we have had a remarkably low number of absences at LAS for both staff and students - in the middle of winter it is probably a record breaking low.    NICE JOB YOU GUYS!  Keep up the good work!

I thought I'd give you a little pandemic food for thought based on the hot topics in the news today

Masks - How many masks should a person wear, and what kind? Click here for an infographic on general updated mask safety.  The CDC recently released results from a study (click here for the link) assessing ways of improving the fit of medical procedure masks: fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, and knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face. Each modification substantially improved source control and reduced wearer exposure. Click here for a video on how to knot and tuck a surgical mask if you have gaps on the sides

Testing:  There is a lot of confusion out there about when, what and where! 

When: If you are having symptoms that are new or unexplained, or on day 5-7 if you are under quarantine from exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (it is not required to test under quarantine, you will have to complete the quarantine either way, but it is helpful for contact tracing).

What: PCR remains the gold standard of testing.  Core Physicians now has their own machine, so their turnaround for in-house testing can be very quick.  This test can be done regardless of if you are having symptoms or not.  There is no perfect test.  There is no perfect system.

Rapid (or antigen) testing is only mostly accurate if it is used within the first 5 days of the onset of symptoms.  This is not one to be used to test out of a travel quarantine because without symptoms there is a much greater risk of a false negative.

Antibody testing is done to find out if you have had COVID and your body has developed the disease.  This is a blood test and is not to be used to diagnose COVID-19.

Where:  It's always best to start with your primary care if you have any health concerns. Click here for a list of places in NH that will prioritize students and staff to get in for testing. These sites have committed to get students or staff members seen and tested within 24 hours of calling.  There are a ton of places that offer testing now - urgent cares, pharmacies like CVS and Rite Aid, primary care offices, and drive-up places like Exeter Hospital.    

Variants:  There are three variants making the news these days - the British, South African, and Brazilian variants. Per the CDC: These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on health care resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.  So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.

Rigorous and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, is essential to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and protect public health.  For more information, click here.

Vaccinations: There are definitely some big flaws in the system, but it seems that the state is doing their best to respond to them.  If you feel that you should be in group 1b and aren't scheduled yet, call your PCP.  If that doesn't get you anywhere, try this site: https://www.vaccines.nh.gov/  I'm not sure it will make a difference, but it's worth a try.  If nothing else, be your own best advocate.  You're worth it!!

I know this continues to be hard on us all.  Please remember to have patience and grace with those around you.  The struggle is so real, and we'll get through this better with love and understanding than with judging and resentment.  Even though that can feel like a really big ask sometimes.

Fondly,

Heather