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Rock Hill Schools opens COVID call center to help parents, nurses

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -A new service in Rock Hill Schools just started to help get your COVID questions answered even easier.

Rock Hill Schools’ COVID call center has a group of administrators and nurse supervisors dedicated only to helping your COVID needs.

Parents started complaining to the district that their calls were not getting through to the school nurses whenever they had questions.

School nurses say they were overwhelmed trying to take hundreds of calls per day.

“They are stressed,” says lead nurse Sadie Kirell.

School leaders say the new district COVID call center will fix all of that.

Parents can expect to have their call answered now, rather than having to leave a message.

They can ask simple questions like what protocols Rock Hill Schools is following or DHEC’s school guidelines.

However, it goes beyond that as well.

Parents will be able to call the center to submit a positive COVID test or ask when their student can return from quarantine.

The center will also help walk parents and students through what is required to get back into school with the district’s new seven-day quarantine protocols and process that information.

The district spokesperson says the rollout was bumpy at first, but they are confident this is the best way for everyone involved to get what they want.

”We now have enough manpower to answer the calls and emails that come through, the hundreds of calls that come through every single day, and get people answers on the spot,” said district spokesperson Lindsay Machak.

With a year of COVID under their belts, school nurses breathed a little easier going into the new school year, but, Kirell says it has not been easy.

”We did not quite expect the curveball that the delta variant through us,” says Kirell.

This curveball came with a lot of questions from parents too. Usually ones that kept the phones ringing.

”It is very challenging for our nurses to meet the needs of the sick kids in the schools everyday as well as trying to meet the needs of the parents who have questions about COVID,” says Kirell.

Que the call center. Through the Belleview Elementary school doors is what these nurses say they needed.

”Many of them said I can finally take care of the students that come into my health office. One said I can finally breath again. So they are very thankful,” she says.

The call center takes the weight off the nurses and spreads it to the people who can get parents’ COVID questions answered quicker and it is not just helping the nurses.

”What we’ve heard over the last 24 hours is that people are very grateful that someone picked up the phone,” says Machak.

Machak says parents called the school nurses for a reason, their
expertise. That has not changed. She says everyone in the center connects with a nursing supervisor so parents can be assured by the answers even if it is not directly from a nurse.

”This is a true one team, one mission, one Rock Hill moment where we are all working together for a common cause and that is to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on in the district,” she says.

The number to call is 803-980-2016 with any questions or email covid@rhmail.org.

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