COVID-19 has meant that a lot of people are getting paid despite a lack of work.

However, at a Thursday, August 6, meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, county staff assured the commissioners that school nurses that serve in Guilford County Schools will still have plenty to do even if students begin the school year by getting their education without showing up at school buildings.

The question of what school nurses will be doing with the kids staying home came up when the Board of Commissioners considered approving a new interlocal agreement between the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services and the school system to provide the schools with nurses.

Felicia Reid, the director of community nursing for the county’s health department, told Commissioner Alan Branson, who asked the question, that school nurses have been taking on, and will continue to take on, new duties in the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. She said the school nurses who are employed year-round had been working in new capacity this year by helping handle positive COVID-19 test cases and virus tracking.

Reed said there was a testing backlog and school nurses were helping address that backlog.

Reid also told the commissioners that, even though the first nine weeks of the coming school year would be virtual, there are still student health screening procedures for students that the nurses will still have to conduct at the start of the year.

She added that, between the traditional school nurse duties that will be performed virtually, and the help addresing the pandemic, the school nurses had their hands full even at a time when classes will not be meeting in person.

“So, they are very busy,” Reed told the board of the nurses.

The board approved the new agreement unanimously.