The Alaka School Nurses Association (ASNA) issued the following formal statement earlier this evening on their Facebook page.
The Alaska School Nurses Association (ASNA) is in support of COVID-19 vaccines and masking in public places. The ASNA believes that all eligible and able Alaskans should get vaccinated against COVID-19.
As community healthcare professionals, we believe it is our duty and responsibility to encourage all Alaskans to be vaccinated, if able to do so. School nurses and all medical professionals in our state should use evidence-based, scientific research to educate and inform our citizens of the choices regarding individual and public health. Many of the students in our schools are not yet able to be vaccinated (under age 12), and as advocates for these and all vulnerable populations, we ask for community support. We ask communities with high rates of COVID-19 transmission to wear masks in public settings to help protect Alaskans from the spread of COVID.
School Nurses believe that masking is a non-invasive strategy that can and should be implemented to help stop the increased spread of COVID all over Alaska. Vaccines and the use of masking have been proven to reduce morbidity, mortality, and the burden on our hospital systems. School Nurses believe our communities should follow the guidance given by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services so we can lessen the spread of COVID now.
Schools reflect the communities they serve, and our schools are not free from the surge of COVID happening throughout our state.
School Nurses believe that with proper mitigation (in addition to universal masking and vaccines) we can help keep our children in school and healthy. We encourage all Alaska school districts to have layered mitigation strategies in place and require universal masking in the school setting until this spread minimizes substantially.
The Alaska School Nurses Association calls on all Alaskans to wear masks in public settings, wash hands, avoid large gatherings, get vaccinated, stay home if you are ill, get tested, and follow isolation and quarantine guidelines set out by public health. School Nurses stand together with our nursing colleagues and hospital staff as well as our school staff by asking you to put in place the needed masking requirements and guidance for our community. School Nurses are strongly against the politicization of the worldwide pandemic and ask for your action now. We are calling on all leadership in our communities and state, as well as all Alaskans, to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID in Alaska.
School nurses affirm the words of our chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink – ‘We are stronger together.’
The Alaska School Nurses Association September 27th, 2021