Auld Lang Syne

03-07-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

On March 5, 2020, we left school for a Spring Break that never ended. This past Friday marked the one year “anniversary” of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As anniversaries go, this is one to remember more than celebrate. We all know, too well, the challenges of the past year. But, looking back at where we were in comparison to where we are does provide some reasons to celebrate and to be especially thankful. We know much more about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and how to safely operate school in the midst of a pandemic than we did one year ago. Further, in March of 2020, a Phase 1 clinical trial of a potential vaccine (m-RNA) against COVID was begun with 45 people (NIH Clinical Trial Investigational COVID-19 Vaccine).

In March of 2021, we have two highly effective m-RNA vaccines available. The first and second doses are administered 3 to 4 weeks apart. Fourteen days following the second dose, a person is considered to have full immunity. The time from administration of the first dose to full immunity is 35 to 44 days, or about six calendar weeks. First doses were given in Maricopa County on December 17, 2020 and those who received them would have achieved immunity between January 21 and January 28, 2021.

It is worth noting, on the epidemiological curve, that significant decreases in case counts began to occur at this time MCDPH Epidemic Curve and have continued. On January 28, 2021 the 7-day average for cases of COVID was 3,014 cases per day. On February 28, 2021, the 7-day average was 612 cases per day. We have 0 cases of COVID at school and 0 staff/students on quarantine. While cases continue to decrease, the numbers of vaccines being given is increasing. On January 10, 2021 the 7-day average for vaccines given was 4,224 doses per day. On January 28, 2021 the 7-day average was 18,216 doses per day and on February 28, 2021, the 7-day average was 25,226 doses per day. To date, 1,091,449 doses have been administered to Maricopa County residents. Because teachers and school staff were prioritized for immunization, 91% of our staff are fully vaccinated. In his March 4th Executive Order, Governor Ducey stated, “Arizona’s students need to be back in the classroom. More than half of Arizona’s schools are open and offering in-person options. More schools need to follow their lead. . .” ( Though we cannot yet relegate the COVID Pandemic to the ‘days old long since’ (Auld Lang Syne), we can celebrate what we, “Home & School” have accomplished thus far and look forward to enjoying the remainder of our school year, together. Happy New Year!