NewsCarroll County


School nurses man telephones at COVID-19 hotline

Volunteers free up health workers to track virus
Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 18:21:13-04

WESTMINSTER, Md. — They have traded in checking children’s hall passes, temperatures and scrapes and bruises to serve people who fear for their lives during the pandemic.

“A lot of calls are like that where a family member or themselves woke up with a cough or sore throat and not knowing if it’s, depending on the weather or they think they have COVID so I think that prompts them to call us or call their doctor,” said Nancy Jascur, a registered nurse with the school system.

Since its inception, the call center has fielded more than 2,000 telephone calls swamping its initial limited staff with as many as a hundred calls per day.

Now, about four dozen school nurses who went home when the schools shut down are serving four-to-eight hours shifts fielding calls for help from throughout the county.

“We are freeing up a lot of the nurses and other staff that were answering calls initially,” said Call Center Co-Leader Anne Grauel. “They are now able to go out and do testing or contact tracing or wherever they are needed while we’re using the expertise of the school nurses to take the calls.”

For Nancy Jascur that means informing people, talking some off the ledge and steering others to testing for the virus potentially saving lives in the process.

“We’re in a helping profession so it really helps for us to actually be out and doing,” said Jascur. “I think a lot of us feel like, ‘Great! Now we can go out and really help the community and actually be out there.”

You can call the COVID-19 Hotline in Carroll County seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 410-876-4848.