School enforces new COVID-19 quarantine policies

A+sign+depicting+which+way+students+should+use+the+staircase+hangs+in+the+hallway.+The+school+used+these+signs+this+year+to+help+students+navigate+the+halls+with+COVID-19+guidelines.+%22Listen+to+those+who+are+smarter+than+us%2C+and+experts+in+the+area%2C%22+science+teacher+Andy+Bradstreet+said.+%22%28Listen%29+to+the+opinions+of+immunologists%2C+people+in+the+CDC%2C+things+like+that.%22

Haley Medeiros

A sign depicting which way students should use the staircase hangs in the hallway. The school used these signs this year to help students navigate the halls with COVID-19 guidelines. “Listen to those who are smarter than us, and experts in the area,” science teacher Andy Bradstreet said. “(Listen) to the opinions of immunologists, people in the CDC, things like that.”

Wesley Barrett, Reporter

With the constant changing of coronavirus policies, the school has condensed and created new policies.

The school has recently updated their quarantine rules, changing the duration of the how long students are required to stay home.

“It was 14-days without a test,” principal Dustin Toth said. “Now it’s reduced to ten days. You can go and get tested on the seventh day, and if that’s negative, you can come back.”

The requirements that decide who needs to quarantine have changed as well.

“Basically, if you are within six feet of somebody that tests positive, and you are not wearing your mask, then you would be considered a close contact,” Toth said. “If either party doesn’t have their mask on the right way, then they could be considered a close contact.”

Changes like these come as a result of condensing suggestions from a broad range of organizations.

“They look at the CDC guidelines, TEA recommendations and also the state health department,” Toth said. “They all have something a little different, and the district has to go through all those, and they make a decision on which one.”

Students at the school see this as a boon for the school’s policies.

“Listen to those who are smarter than us, and experts in the area,” science teacher Andy Bradstreet said. “(Listen) to the opinions of immunologists, people in the CDC, things like that.”

Students have noticed a lack of enforcement with some policies.

“Sometimes, I’ll still see a lot of people walking in front of administrators without their mask on, and the administrators won’t do anything about it,” senior Juan Vera said. “I guess it’s hard to do it when there’s a few thousand kids in the school, but I think things should be done to help keep the school safe as we can from COVID.”

Staff has stressed concern over the new quarantine policies.

“First and foremost, the concern should be for health and wellbeing of our students and our staff,” Bradstreet said. “If a student was in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus then it’s absolutely in the best interest of everyone here at school to have them quarantine for 10 to 14 days, whatever the CDC recommendations are.”

With a possible end in sight in terms of COVID, hope has become part of the culture at school.

“I think this year is definitely better than what we had last year,” Vera said. “I think as long as we keep trying to improve the quality of learning, things should be getting better.”