Some Florence School District 1 employees begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Florence school nurses begin COVID-19 vaccinations

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - McLeod Health recently reached out to Florence School District 1 about providing the COVID-19 vaccine to some of the district’s employees.

Nearly 40 employees are eligible under phase 1A. School nurses, physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

Beth Holzbach, the district’s lead nurse, hopes the vaccine will put these employees at ease as they work with other staff, students, and teachers.

“It will provide just a level of comfort,” she said. “As nurses, of course, we interact on a regular basis with people who are sick whether they have COVID or not but potentially the symptoms that are present in the health room could be COVID.”

While the vaccine is optional for employees, Holzbach said their main goal is to educate students. As a school nurse, she believes this is an important step in getting students back into the classroom.

“As a school district, I do believe there is a great need for us to get back to full face-to-face instruction. For families who choose to do that for their children and this to me is a pathway toward that,” said Holzbach.

A number of employees have already reached out to Holzbach asking questions.

“I got an email from an employee with questions, and I spoke with an employee about their designation they’d be in, and just the what-ifs of how that would take place,” she said.

Through the pandemic, FSD1 has had an agreement through MUSC Health Florence for their testing referrals and now McLeod Regional Medical Center is providing the vaccine to their employees.

“We’re very lucky in Florence County, and Florence One Schools in particular to have these two large healthcare providers local, who we feel we can reach out to and they can reach out to us as well,” said Holzbach.

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