By Staff

TOWNSEND (CBS) – A new school year has begun, and the COVID-19 Delta variant is keeping school nurses extremely busy across the state.

“You do not get a break, we don’t get a lunch,” said Becky Boutwell, District Nurse for North Middlesex School District. “You do what you need to do as a nurse to maintain the safety of the building.”

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Boutwell overseas seven schools serving 3,000 students. She says her team of seven nurses are working hard.

“They are the frontlines for everybody. If we get it wrong, then someone else can get COVID. So we need to make sure we get it right,” Boutwell said.

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Back in July she says nurses and students were looking forward to not wearing masks, but by August things changed quickly.

“We have to adapt in a moment’s notice,” Boutwell said.

It’s been just over a week since school started in Townsend and already the district has 12 positive cases of COVID-19. Which means for all the nurses it’s back to contact tracing and being extremely vigilant.

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“I think some of the nurses definitely felt like there was no break. We left doing contact tracing and we came back doing contact tracing,” said Catherine Hampson, Supervisor of Health Services at North Middlesex. “It has been very challenging and very stressful for the nurses.” Staff