The Limiting of COVID Cases in School

Tah Si Soe Thaw

Recently multiple OPS schools have been shut down due to a rapid increase of cases within their buildings. Benson is one of the schools that hasn’t needed to close down and that may be due to how well they’re doing at following the guidelines of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and face coverings which have resulted in a very low number of cases.

While the exact number of cases and statistics at Benson are unknown, they’re consistent with what is in the community per the health department as far as the testing numbers and positivity rates. The only data available to families right now is a weekly updated dashboard of cases throughout the entire district on the OPS website.

At the moment, students haven’t been pulled out from class due to symptoms or signs. If they do have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has it, their parents are most likely to notify the school in addition the contact tracing teams.

When students have been in contact with someone who has the virus or they’re the ones having it, they’re required to notify the school and quarantine for 2 weeks. Therefore, this ensures that the chances of the coronavirus spreading at school decreases.

Another thing that minimized the spreading is the 3/2 model that has been used since the reopening of school. With some students being completely remote, and only part of the school’s population in the building at a time, not many students are being in contact with one another.

As people follow the guidelines that are being set, the numbers are likely to drop. This doesn’t mean to get too comfortable with how things are because surges of cases are still happening very often.

“It’s important to not let up though, as our community rates continue to increase,” nurse Wendy Coleman said. “It’s also important to follow the guidelines both at school and when not in school, especially with the holidays coming up.”

If individuals follow what is required of them such as wearing masks, washing hands daily, social distancing and so forth, the pandemic will hopefully go away. The faster everyone follows safety guidelines, the faster everything will pass.

For the start of semester two, students are going remote the first two weeks back from winter break. This is to make sure that everything is clean and safe for when students come back. When students come back, it would be with the 3/2, same as what was used prior the break.