COVID-19 Coordinator Update: 4/29/2021

COVID-19 Coordinator Update:  4/29/2021

MN DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Updates in this email:

Vaccination for 16 and 17 Year Olds

COVID-19 Testing Program for Students

Updated Sports Guidance

New Vaccine Hesitancy Resource

Resources on Stress and Resilience

Weekly School Nurse/COVID-19 Program Coordinator Calls

MDE and MDH Inboxes for COVID-19 Inquiries

Vaccination for 16 and 17 Year Olds

This week, MDH launched a ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves, MN’ Campaign highlighting our youngest COVID-19 vaccine-eligible Minnesotans: 16- and 17-year olds. This initiative began Tuesday, April 27 and extends through Saturday, May 1. During this week, appointments are prioritized for 16- and 17-year olds and their parents at Minnesota’s Mall of America Community Vaccination Site.

Please review the full email with additional information sent to all COVID-19 coordinators on Friday, April 23 and spread the word with your students, families and school communities!

Students and families in the metro area can schedule an appointment at the Mall of America Community Vaccination site now: Mall of America Community Vaccination Registration

Those in Greater Minnesota can use the CDC’s Vaccine Finder to schedule an appointment for a Pfizer vaccine at a pharmacy near you or sign up on Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to receive more information about vaccine opportunities.

In addition to accessing scheduling at the Mall of America, below are the direct scheduling links to community sites. Please verify that they are administering Pfizer before scheduling an appointment:

Getting vaccinated will help give Minnesota’s teens the best chance to learn in-person, participate in sports and activities, attend graduation and go to prom. Of course, they still need to remain vigilant in regards to masking, hand washing and social distancing. And for those still too young to be vaccinated, testing is critical. Learn more about Minnesota’s no-cost, barrier-free testing options.

COVID-19 Testing Program for Students

MDE and MDH have announced updates related to COVID-19 testing for students and athletes:

  • All Minnesotans who are participating in organized sports are strongly encouraged to test every week.
  • Every student, regardless of participation in activities, is strongly encouraged to get a COVID test every two weeks.
  • Schools have a key role to play by helping make testing more accessible our students. All middle and high schools are strongly encouraged to offer onsite testing for students.

This week, experts from MDE and MDH hosted a webinar about the testing program. View the PowerPoint presentation.

The COVID-19 Saliva Testing Program Guide for Schools has been updated to include important information on how to offer testing for students along with existing staff testing programs in schools. Read the document Questions and Answers: COVID-19 Testing for Middle and High School Students.

Updated Sports Guidance

MDH has made updates to their guidance for organized sports, including:

  • Discussion of risk considerations
  • Update on face covering recommendations and requirements for outdoor and indoor sports
  • Clarification of face covering requirements for spectators during practices and competitions
  • Clarification of isolation, quarantine, and for returning to play

For more details, view COVID-19 Organized Sports Practice and Games Guidance for Youth and Adults, https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/sportsguide.pdf

New Vaccine Hesitancy Resource

Many people have questions and concerns about the new COVID-19 vaccines. This is normal. A new resource can be shared with people to answer common questions and concerns. Translations of this document will be coming soon. Read the new resource What You Should Know About COVID-19 Vaccines: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/vaxtruths.pdf

Resources on Stress and Resilience

Everyone is feeling some degree of burnout, stress, and overall emotional toll from not only living in the COVID-19 pandemic, but also responding to it in our jobs in one way or another. Here are two resources that you may find helpful.

Weekly School Nurse/COVID-19 Program Coordinator Calls

Calls are held each Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 a.m. by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). These are opportunities to hear MDH updates and receive the latest information, including any new guidance.

(Each link is only active on the actual day of the School Nurse Update Call. Recordings are not available for later viewing.)

To view the PowerPoint slides and notes from the School Nurse Calls, please register with the COVID-19 Resources for Minnesota Schools and Out-of-School Time Staff, Canvas Learning Management System, under the Health and Safety module. 

You can livestream these meetings each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. using the following the YouTube Live Stream Access Links:

Summer meeting schedule:

If you have any questions about these MDH weekly school nurse calls, please email health.schools.covid19@state.mn.us.

MDE and MDH Inboxes for COVID-19 Inquiries

Questions on COVID-19? Here are the MDH and MDE mailboxes to use:

MDE Inboxes:

MDH Inboxes: