Dr. Megan Ranney joins Bishop Hendricken for Virtual COVID-19 Town Hall

Bishop Hendricken hosts Virtual COVID-19 Town Hall with ER physician and leading public health researcher

WARWICK, RI (November 5, 2020) – On Wednesday night, Bishop Hendricken hosted its first-ever Virtual COVID-19 Town Hall with special guest, Dr. Megan L. Ranney, MD, MPH. The live town hall was streamed on Facebook and YouTube, and was an opportunity to answer questions and address concerns on behalf of the Bishop Hendricken community.

Dr. Ranney answered questions from students, parents, and community members regarding a range of COVID-19 topics, including school safety, the importance of mask-wearing, distancing guidelines, the science of transmission, symptoms and illness, quarantine and isolation, and more.

“I have to say, Bishop Hendricken’s plans, in general, are absolutely stellar,” Dr. Ranney said of our reopening plans, protocols, and playbook. “I am so impressed.”

Dr. Ranney is a nationally recognized COVID-19 expert and has been fighting on the frontlines of the pandemic since its beginning. She was joined by school nurse, Mrs. Jennifer Monti, RN, who also works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Mrs. Monti addressed several questions regarding our Case Response Playbook, symptoms, situational response, and contact tracing.

Dr. Ranney discussed and explained current public health guidance for schools at length. She noted that mask-wearing is the primary and most effective COVID-19 mitigating factor, reinforcing Bishop Hendricken’s school-wide mask mandate for all on campus at all times. She also noted that the proper mask – both in terms of type and fit – is critical. As an emergency physician who is leading the fight against personal protective equipment shortages across the nation, Dr. Ranney applauded Bishop Hendricken’s list of acceptable masks and face coverings, particularly the reservation of fitted N95s for those on the frontlines. “On behalf of our first responders, ER docs, and ER nurses, we thank you for that because they are still in short supply.”

In discussion of in-school and in-class transmission, Dr. Ranney noted, “To date, to my knowledge in Rhode Island, there have been no documented cases of transmission inside the school setting,” echoing similar sentiments from Governor Raimondo and Dr. Alexander-Scott. “School is a very structured environment,” Dr. Ranney said. “You’re maintaining ventilation and wearing masks for the vast majority of the day. That’s very different from when you’re hanging out outside of school.” Dr. Ranney added, “That’s where we’re seeing transmission happening; we’re not seeing it happen in schools.”

Dr. Ranney also addressed physical distancing in classrooms, reinforcing that when students and faculty are masked, 3 feet between students when paired with proper ventilation and cleaning can be effective at mitigating potential COVID-19 spread. She added later, “Based on what I’ve heard, and based on what we know about viral transmission, you’re [Bishop Hendricken] going above and beyond in terms of current recommendations.”

Watch the full town hall below. To learn more about Dr. Ranney, view her Researchers@Brown profile, here.

If you have any questions or need protocol clarification, please don’t hesitate to email response@hendricken.com.