LEANDER, Texas - A dozen nurses with Leander ISD are now playing a key role in tracking down cases of COVID-19 in Williamson County. As part of National Nurses Week, those team members and others ready to volunteer were recognized by Leander ISD for their work.
A steady flow of vehicles Wednesday morning rolled into the campus of Vista Ridge High School. The drivers weren't teachers but school nurses who made stops at several stations with tabletops filled with snacks and gifts. The drive-by salute was organized by Leander ISD to recognize their 50 nurses as part of the national appreciation week.
The viral outbreak closed campuses, but school nurses are still on the job and are required to reach out to students taking classes online, especially those considered to be medically fragile.
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Cristin Wicketts, Leander ISD head nurse, and 11 other nurses work from home as part of Williamson County's special COVID-19 outreach team. Using a specialized computer system, some call those who have the virus to find out where they've been, while others call those who may have unknowingly been exposed to COVID-19.
"That's the awesome thing with Nursing, Nursing is so versatile, and having this opportunity to step up and help the county do this investigation and contact tracing," Wicketts said. "It's just another exciting part of being a nurse."
Team member Kim Whitt says it's like being a virus detective. "And that's absolutely part of this, we want to find out where, help them remember, walk through your day, tell me where you've been, what you were doing, who you were with, and just help them walk through their day and pick the pieces up."
About 80 people are currently called twice a day to check on their condition, but the call list is expected to grow. As a result, many of the nurses who went through the appreciate drive Wednesday have already volunteered to join the team.
The county team has about 150 volunteers, and over half have medical backgrounds. Some make calls as part of the trace team, and others are in call centers, delivering protective gear to those working in viral hotspots and the COVID-19 testing site in Georgetown.
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