Emma Willsmore

With full time in person school back in session and no mask mandates in, place the number of quarantines and COVID cases are drastically increasing. While people are happy to be back mask free, it also comes with a price students must be willing to pay.

While most agree it’s good to be back and see everyone’s faces, there is a cost. Administrators are working around the clock to ensure the safety of the students at BHS while also maintaining the “normal” school year.

BHS Principal Jennifer Sprys-Tellner said, “I spend most of my day tracking students and COVID cases and sending emails. I have almost no time for anything else.”

Not only does this take time away from administrative staff, but students as well. When quarantined, students have a harder time learning and getting work done. Students miss 7-14 days of school when quarantined.

With the BHS homecoming on the 16th, Principal Gavin Johnson sent an informative email to all students. “The Dance will look a little different this year. I am sorry. With ongoing Covid cases, and contact tracing, and quarantines, it is simply not something we can allow or else we could face an outbreak of many of being quarantined, out of school, we are doing the best we can to allow you to have normal fun but also maintain safety for you so we can keep you all healthy and in school.”

Johnson said “[October 13] was the first day we haven’t had a COVID case or quarantine this year. That’s good news because that means we have a lesser chance of going back to virtual this year. I think this year we will be fully in person.”

Luna Cheeseman, a 10th grader at BHS has been quarantined twice just this year. She said “ it’s hard to do everything online especially when it’s not your choice. It’s not what works best for me and now I’m so far behind in all my classes it’s very stressful.”

When Cheeseman returned to BHS from the first quarantine, administrators informed her she needed to go back home due to another close contact. Instead of letting herself fall further behind on her school work, Luna decided to get a COVID test everyday for the next 10 days.

BHS is offering three ways to handle close contacts this year:

Option 1 is a standard quarantine for 10 days from the last date of contact with the positive case unless the “close contact” is experiencing COVID-19 on day 10.

Option 2 is a standard quarantine for 7 days. Students can return on day 8 with a negative COVID-19 test taken on days 5, 6, or 7 after the close contact date. It must be a clinic performed test and results must be turned into the Main Office. This option allows students to also resume extracurricular/athletic activities on day 8.

Option 3 is an “alternate plan” that includes masking and daily testing for the duration of what would have been the quarantine period. The health department will provide guidance on this. Students are able to continue to attend classes so long as they remain symptom-free, test negative, and mask while in attendance.  Students are required to test and submit the result to LCHD DAILY. They are required to wear a mask while in attendance at school through day 7.