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Nurses at Chapel Hill ISD administering COVID tests

With the mask mandate reinstated at Chapel Hill schools, nurses are continuing to provide COVID tests for students.

CHAPEL HILL, Texas — Chapel Hill ISD officially returned to class in the midst of rising COVID cases in East Texas. However, they did so with a major difference in place, as they reinstated their mask mandate.

Masks are now required to be worn indoors for all students, staff, and visitors. They are also mandatory in school buses.

For the school nurses, this has added an extra component to their already busy days. The nurses administer COVID testing to students, as they have done since the beginning of the year. However, there has been an added workload for them as classes resumed this week due to the Omicron variant.

"Since school started, just at the high school, I personally have done 2,600 tests," said school nurse Patricia Mitchell.

With the added precautions in place at these schools, the nurses have received extra duties in an effort to reduce these rising numbers of cases.

Regardless of the increased workload, the nurses say that their passion and desire to help the Chapel Hill staff and students has not wavered.

"I love my job; it is my passion and my pleasure," said school nurse Jonna Martin, "I'm grateful that we offer this at our school because it helps our community. I know COVID tests are at a low right now and its hard to get. I just recommend that everyone stays safe and keeps going. We're going to get through this."

The school nurses will continue to work hard and provide testing for students in an effort to bring COVID numbers down.